Tuesday, December 30, 2008

100,000-miles

For the first time ever, my wife and I have managed to roll a car's odometer over the 100,000-mile mark. Neither of us has ever had a new car. Most of the cars that I've owned have had over 100K on them when they have entered my possession. We've seen several cross that wondrous 200,000-mile mark, and we have had one intrepid little BMW 3-series that we managed to get well over the 300,000-mile marker. When we passed that one on, it had something in the neighborhood of 350,000 miles on it. We had to replace the differential twice, it had a salvaged 5-speed gearbox in it, but the original, un-molested engine would purr like a kitten, despite all of its fluid leaks.

At that point in time, we had two non-running Civics (which have since found new homes), a Prelude in a jillion pieces all over the garage (still there), and the BMW. Jenni had the BMW parked at work when a co-worker decided to slam her Jeep into it. The car was still very usable, but it was clear that we did not want to put the time, effort, or money into fixing the car to see how much beyond that 1/3 million miles we could push it. I worked at a Ford dealership at the time, and someone had just traded in their sub-one-year-old Nissan Sentra on a new 3/4-ton pickup (right before the initial massive gas price creep in 2005).

I saw that little 2004 Nissan Sentra SE-R SpecV and decided to look a little more closely at it. The insurance company had made a repair estimate on the BMW, and we started looking into what options we had. The Sentra was new enough that it still had a factory warranty on it. I want to say that it has something like 25,000 miles on the clock. The dealership quoted me a price that was quite attractive. Yes, we could have gotten a new Sentra for that price, but it would not have been the high-compression 2.5-liter mated to a 6-speed mixer atop a stiff suspension with aluminum alloys wrapped around enormous Brembo brakes. It would have simply been a drowsy people mover.

Jenni and I took the car for a test drive one day after work. We had been looking for something light and nimble, with four doors and five seatbelts, newer than anything that we had previously driven, with a little more punch under the hood than your typical people-mover, and we still wanted it to get decent gas mileage. Check, check, check, check, check, check, and check. It looked like we had a winner! We inquired about a trade-in on the beat-up BMW. They told us that they might be able to give us $500.00 on it. I looked at the possibility of selling the Bimmer outright, and it looked like we would be lucky to get $1200.00 out of it in its well-used condition. As it turned out, we donated the old car to a single mother in need through AM Vets or some such organization so we could write it's book value off our taxes.

We were able to get a good loan through our credit union, and used our insurance settlement as a down payment. About a year ago, we were able to refinance the car for a far lower interest rate. The car is sitting just outside the office right now with 100,005-miles on the odometer. To date, we have done fluid and filter changes, replaced the radiator hoses, several sets of tires, replaced the front and rear brake pads on only one occasion, had it in the body shop twice, and it has had two repairs under factory recalls. There is an exhaust hanger that I need to replace, and now it needs spark plugs, an accessory belt, another oil change, an air filter, and another 100K-miles, apparently!

This has been a great car. I really miss my Hondas, but we have enjoyed this Nissan. Honestly, I miss the wagon format. I'm not crazy about owning a black car, and would not have purchased this one had it not nearly dropped into our laps. It's difficult to fault it for reliability or a nagging maintenance schedule. I would eventually like to do some performance work to it. A turbocharger would be nice, but I wouldn't even need to go that extreme to give it a little more oomph. If we did that, I would probably de-badge it and put those cheesy brake-dust shields under the wheels to hide the giant, Italian calipers and make it a real sleeper.

Perhaps in 2012, when we have run it over the 200,000-mile mark, we will trade it in on some high-strung micro-wagon in a non-neutral color. Until then, I look forward to many more years of this car serving the family.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Obama Christmas Song

Come they told me, Barack Obama
A brand new candidate, Barack Obama
Our hope and change we bring, Barack Obama
To elect him the king, Barack Obama
Barack Obama, Barack Obama

Some socialism Barack Obama
When he comes.

Little candidate, Barack Obama
I am middle-class, Barack Obama
I want government out of my way, Barack Obama
I cling to religion, Barack Obama
Barack Obama, Barack Obama

Shall I make you nervous, Barack Obama,
With my gun?

The NRA nodded, Barack Obama
I set my targets up, Barack Obama
I shot my gun for Him, Barack Obama
I shot my best for Him, Barack Obama,
Barack Obama, Barack Obama,

Then He sneered at me, Barack Obama,
Me and my gun.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Adventures of the Cats

As anyone who reads Jenni's blog knows, we have two Siamese cats. I have gathered that they have a recurring adventure while we are gone from the house on our daily routines. You see, being Siamese, they do have strange sounds that they make on various occasions for different things. At night, Emerson will sing about the food. We call it the "Food Is Good" song. Ferrule will stand outside our door early on Saturday mornings and tell us he is there. Each of them has their own call that they make when they are ready to poop - just so we know. Sometimes, when we get home from work, they frantically intercept us at the door, emphatically yelling and yowling at us. On these days, they have had an adventure of epic proportions that goes something like this...


Michael, Jenni, and Isaac had left the house that morning to go to wherever it is they go when it's lazy sleep time for ten hours everyday. The kitties, Emerson and Ferrule, had just settled into the lounge chair and gotten comfortable for their daily slumber when they were startled by a strange sound. It sounded as though someone was coming in the front door, but the family was not due home for hours. Heidi barked from within her crate. The two cats scurried into the entry hall, where before them stood a sparkling figure. She was like the humans, but only about 3-feet tall. She wore a shimmering dress, and had wings that looked like cicada wings. (mmmmmm, cicadas! *nom, nom, nom*) She carried a wand in her left hand. She spoke to the two cats in a lovely, crystal voice, "Where are your masters?"

"Yeouw?" the two responded.

"Let's try that again, shall we?" she said as she waved her wand at them. Magical sparkles fell from her wand and sprinkled all over the two cats.

"Ur wandz!" Ferrule giggled, "LOL! It makez me tikklez!"

"WTF?!?!?!!1!" Exclaimed Emerson in response, "U canz talk teh hooman talks!"

Ferrule said, "OMG! Ur rite!" realizing that Emerson was correct, "U kan 2!"

"That's right!" said the fairy in the hall, "I have granted you Lolspeak so that we can communicate. I'm the Fairy Queen, and I have some good news for your masters. Where are they?"

"Theys all gon 2 wurk rite now," Ferrule said.

"...2 git teh moneez 2 git teh fud!" Emerson added.

"Oh, I see," the Fairy Queen said thoughtfully. "Well, they have been chosen to receive The Magical Treasure of the Fairies. Unfortunately, I will have to go back to the Fairy Kingdom soon, and I will not be able to come back for a long time."

"OH NOEZ!" The cats exclaimed in unison.

"But," she continued, "maybe I could show you where the treasure is, and then you could tell your masters about it when they get home?"

The cats were very excited by this idea. The Fairy Queen waved her magic wand again, and both cats were able to fly. "Now, follow me and I'll show you where the treasure is!" Over the course of the day, Emerson and Ferrule saw wonders that cannot be described. They knew that they would haz cheezburgers 4 shur! After a long, and tiring journey, they found themselves back in their own home, saying good-bye to their new friend, the Fairy Queen.

"I have to go now," she said to them, "but you will tell your masters about the Magical Treasure, and where to find it, right?"

"O ya," Emerson said.

"We b gud kittehs an tell teh hoomans wher iz teh trezur," Ferrule said.

And then, the Fairy Queen departed. Even as excited as the two cats were, they quickly dozed back to sleep in their favorite chair, waiting for the return of the family. A little while later, they were awakened by the sound of the front door again. They were so excited, they ran to the door in anticipation. They could hear the key working the bolt. They could hear the voices of the humans as the door opened. As the family made their way in, the two cats were so excited that they couldn't contain themselves. They pushed into the doorway to meet the incoming people and started shouting the news.

"Meow! Wow! Mowowow!" Alas, it seemed as though their speech had gone away with the Fairy Queen, but that would not deter them. They only tried harder, and shouted louder, "MEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOW! NNNNNGGOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW! MMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWOOOOOWWWWW!" They tried to climb the legs of their masters, as if to say "Why don't you understand? This is IMPORTANT! Listen to what we are saying!"


Of course, the cats bum-rushing us at the door is completely true. The rest of the story is inferred, of course. When we have this type of situation, we check their food and water, of course. We also make sure that their privies are not soiled. We make sure that none of their obvious needs are neglected, and they never are. They assault us with such wanton force that the rest of the above story is the only remotely reasonable explanation.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wedding Anniversary Plinking

Friday, December 5, 2008 marked the ten-year anniversary of the day that Jenni and I became legally married in the eyes of The State and our friends and family. Friday was not terribly note-worthy as we had things that we had to take care of during the day. Saturday, we had a brief and heartfelt restatement of vows. We promised to do even better for each other than we have in the previous decade. We confessed that the last ten have been largely blissful (but even the rough spots have only drawn us closer together), and we are each looking forward to whatever adventures we wander into together in the future.

The weather was idyllically gorgeous, and we held our restatement at the family property in Luther, OK, where we frequently camp. After our ~10-minute 'ceremony', we changed into our grubbies, and did some very romantic target shooting. We decided to try some 150-yard plinking with our M4 carbine, across its iron sights. This is the first rifle that either of us has spent any time shooting, and this was the first time that we had attempted any such reach with a firearm. This was also the first time that I've adjusted sights on a gun, so please bear with my left-pull. Here is the last 5-shot group that I put downrange:



That would be a 5-shot group that measures 3-inches across and 7-inches high. At 150-yards. Across iron sights. On a carbine. Oh, yeah. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can duplicate or improve upon these results on the next try.

Jenni also shot well, but did not embarrass me, much to my complete surprise. It seems like we usually trade off who will do better at the range from session to session, but she usually beats me to the punch-line on whatever new experience of its type. I fully expected her final group to be half of what mine was in this endeavor. It's not that she was not shooting well, it's that this was outstanding - that is to say that I far exceeded my expectations in this shooting attempt.

The pattern suggests that we always do our best shooting outdoors. I believe that the indoor gun-range is a head-game. I think that when the target is rolled all the way out to the maximum 30-yards, and there's that much paper to hit, something in my psyche won't completely take it seriously. When I'm aiming at a 6- to 18-inch target at some serious yardage, out in the open, that part of my brain gets nervous and I perform better. If I could figure out how to consciously alter that perception, I believe I could perform a lot better while burning far less ammo.

I'm happy with how things went on Saturday. Like I told my wife then, I'm more in love with her now than I was in the beginning, and I was crazy about her then. I did what I consider to be some damned fine shooting. The weather was great, and it was a feel-good weekend in general. Sometimes, it's just hard to complain.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

AWB 2009

The Libocrats will defend Mr. Obama against the Conservatives' fears of the proposed Assault Weapons Ban, saying that every time a Democrat takes office, we get scared that guns will be taken away. I would say that it is a well-founded fear, as this is exactly what happened the last time we had a Democrat in the White House, and it is part of Obama's Agenda of Change. The reason the '94 ban was allowed to expire in 2004 is that it very simply did not do any good.

So, the question is WHY? Why does Mr. Obama want to take steps towards further disarming The People? The actual text on Obama's website reads:

Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.


This is the way I read it:

Address Gun Generate Escalated Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, in purcuit of their totalitarianistic goals, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information for the purpose of individual privacy, as well as the protection of law enforcement agencies, and give police officers across the nation the tools Gestapo strong-arm tactics they need in the guise to allegedly solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade, but in effect, only violate the privacy of law-abiding citizens. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense unconstitutional measures that respect pay lip service to the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals those otherwise law-abiding citizens that would oppose an oppressive government - as our Founding Fathers intended. They support closing the imaginary gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof for the government only. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent because they are either too stupid to see that it had no positive effects the first time around, or they have another agenda.


If I sound nutty, please try to keep an open mind and humor me for just a moment - even if you will leave my blog shaking your head at what a wack-job I am. If you followed my links, and/or did a little Googling on your own, or know a little history from the last two decades, you will see that the AWB whose duration was from 1994-2004 had NO positive effect on crime rates. This is why it was allowed to expire ten years after its inception. This history teaches us that the law was useless to its purpose of reducing violent crime.

Mr. Obama is not stupid, nor is Mr. Biden. They are smart enough men to know that the previous law did nothing towards its stated purpose. Why then, would they want to push for a permanent version of the same law? It is obviously not for the reasons stated, therefore it has to be for other reasons. What are those reasons? That's the million-dollar question. What hidden agenda do the newly elected have in mind that is supported by the 2008 Assault Weapons Ban?

Any answer to that question explains exactly what the Conservatives are so afraid of.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Science as a Religion?

Let's think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horseshit? Horse pollution was bad in 1900, think how much worse it would be a century later, with so many more people riding horses?


Who could not love the work of Michael Chriton? This one is worth a read in its entirety.

Linkarooni

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gossip and Rumors

It is a fairly accepted fact that gossip is one of the more destructive forces in society. If you ruin someone's reputation, it can often never be repaired. I used to be a courtesy driver for the service department at a local Ford dealership. I would not recommend that anyone pursue a career as a courtesy driver. It is a thankless job. I would never have accepted the position had it not been sweetened by the empty promises of higher employment in the company. I didn't get anything from that company that I did not fight to get.

I would have done well to be driving an armored version of a Cobra with run-flat tires, non-descript paint job, and no license plates. Alas, my assigned vehicle was a Windstar minivan with the dealership name, logo, and phone number in giant sheets of vinyl pasted all over the little van. People in general are pissy, moany turds that have nothing better to do than piss and moan about everything. Since you are reading my blog, you are clearly no stranger to this concept.

As a matter of routine, there were road complaints that were directed to the service managers about their terrible drivers. Several times, the service manager would pull me into his office to tell me that I had complaints called in on my. You know those "how's my driving?" stickers? People really take advantage of those. The service manager really was a nice guy, and made it a point to tell me that he was pretty sure that these calls were B. S., but that he had to let me know about them. I think his philosophy was that if I was the bat-out-of-hell that the callers wanted to believe I was, I would straighten up my act on the honor system. It seemed reasonable to me.

In one of these encounters, he offhandedly commented that if a complaint call came in that I had flipped someone off, that we would be having a different conversation. His office door was open at the time, and his office was near the front desk. There sat the front desk lady. She had nothing better to do than eavesdrop, gossip, and screw somebody else's husband in her off time. What she observed was that I was in the boss' office, and he said something about a complaint of me flipping someone off. This is where the gossip started.

All of a sudden, every employee of the dealership was all-a-titter about how I had gotten in trouble for flipping someone off on the road. First of all, I find the hand gesture to be grotesque and a completely unintelligent cliche. If I am to make a disgusting hand gesture at someone, I'll get creative with it. They will feel unclean for some time after the fact. If I am going to go to the trouble, I will make them feel disturbed and violated. Usually, that's only in response to being flipped off. It's like, "Oh, I know you didn't just go there. Try this one on for size, honey!" Suffice it to say that I did not make hand gestures from my van.

There were a few brave souls that started asking me about flipping people off on the road. After the first couple, I decided to handle the situation like I prefer to handle most such situations - up the ante. My response went from denial to embellishment as follows:

Dude, no. Get it right. If you are going to be talking about what I did on the road, at least find out what really happened. It was just like this:

I was speeding down the highway while texting and listening to heavy metal as loud as I could crank the stereo. I had some really important businessmen that had places to be in the van with me, so I needed all the motivation I could get to keep that gas pedal well-planted against the floorboards.

All of a sudden, this school bus came out from nowhere! Some nun was driving the bus, and it was full of orphans, and she totally cut me off. So, I ran her off the road. I made a second pass back by to see where she had run off the road. When I got out, I could see the burning remains of the bus in the ditch. I flipped them off as they all burned alive, and pissed on the smoking mess.

I then cackled loudly as I burned the tires and took off down the road. I suppose the nun was able to drag herself from the wreckage and make the complaint call. I knew that I should have finished her off when I had the chance...


The strangest thing happened. Nobody was interested in talking about my escapades anymore. I don't think that this approach would work every time rumors are flying about, but it worked like a charm there!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hail To The Chief IV. - What Can You Do?

So, at this point, you may find yourself saying, "But Michael, what can I do?" In my humble opinion, the answer is several things.

1) Seek training and gun ownership if you have not yet done so. Getting either right now will be tricky with the whole rush, but give it a little while. Be patient. There will be no bans immediately. There will be no passing of the torch until January, and even then, new legislation takes time. The initial fireams madhouse rush will die down a little before any bad laws are passed. Keep your ear to the ground, and opportunities will come up. Check pawn shops and gun shops alike. Make a short list of what guns you would like to own, prioritize it, and assign a range of price that you would be willing to pay for each piece. When you buy a gun, practice, practice, practice. The propensity of responsible gun owners is a wonderful argument against the antis.

2) Get your CCW Permit/CHL if it is available in your state. If the powers that be can make a correlation between the number of active permits and the census numbers, and show a shockingly high number of permit carriers, disarming the populace is obviously going to be an inconvenient task. Even if you don't think that you will carry, it's still nice to have the option.

3) Join the NRA. I really need to practice what I preach on this one. I'm still trying to recover from #1, so finances have been a little thin lately. Even so, this organization is a powerful ally in the fight for your 2nd Amendment Rights, and needs the monetary support of new members more now than ever. In addition, a healthy member roster is a weapon that they can use against the opposition. Your state may also have similar associations on the state level.

4) If your state allows it, open carry. This is a controversial point to make, but I'm making it anyway. People who are against open carry form two camps. On the one extreme, you have the antis. They think that if everyone is carrying a visible handgun, as in the Old West, that duels will spring forth, and blood will flow in the streets. This hasn't been a problem in any state where it is legally practiced. On the other extreme, you have the tactical gunnies. They say that you should keep your gun hidden so that you have the element of surprise on the bad guy. I say that if normal people are commonly seen with a side-arm, it removes the element of fear from the would-be antis - which is what makes an anti an anti in the first place. In other words, you don't open carry for the tactical arrangement, you open carry for the political statement. If people are never exposed to guns except for TV and movies, the message is that cops and bad guys carry guns. If they see their friends and neighbors, fellow PTO members, grocery store patrons, and everyone that they interact with on a daily basis carrying openly, the message is that normal, responsible, good people have guns. I think this is better, and makes anti-gun legislation nearly impossible to pass.

5) Write to your State Representative. Don't send them an email, or blog about it. Put a letter on paper telling them how you feel about the threat to your Second Amendment rights. Tell them courteously, in no uncertain terms that you do not intend to support a politician that does not represent you.

6) Pray that we don't lose too much over the next two years.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hail To The Chief III. - Kneejerk Reaction

On many of the gun forums that I frequent such as The High Road, The Firing Line, and The Gun Counter, the word is flying around that gun stores are being stormed in response to the election results. I emailed with my friend who works at H&H Gunrange about the current situation. This is an enviable facility, dedicated to firearms education, practice, and sales, in a safe, family-friendly environment. Their sales floor is amazing. Anyone who has the slightest interest in firearms should pay them a visit if they ever happen through the Okc area.

What I could ascertain from the rumors on the forums is that pretty much every gun shop had been completely cleaned-out by customer demand by the weekend. This spawned a personal desire to do some research on my part. My wife and I paid visit to a couple of pawn shops that we frequent, looking at firearms. Both of them had dramatically reduced inventory, but were not out of firearms. My friend said that AR-15 inventory is "thin", that they have but one AK-47 left in inventory, and that they are sold out of Glocks and several other handguns. He said that it is as though they have done a month's worth of business in half a week. Contrary to what I had read on the internet, most of the sales seem to be among people who were planning on their purchases already, but the election results simply rushed their planned actions.

On his website, Obama has stated that he intends to push for another assault weapons ban, but to make it permanent this time around. My wife pointed out that there have been some er... problems on Obama's website. It is my hope that the clear message that The American People have sent is that we do not intend to let go of our Second Amendment Rights. Mr. Obama is not at all a stupid person. I believe that he is a short-sighted, arrogant, naive elitest, but not stupid in the least. I want to believe that he sees the message and is reconsidering some of his stances, and that is the explanation of the site being down this morning.

It is not at all uncommon for a politician to change their stances on certain issues due to public response. Frankly, that is the mark of a good leader. These people work for us. When they see that they are making us unhappy, they should consider modifying their goals. As of this moment (11/10/2008 at 13:07), his website seems to be mysteriously devoid of any talk of weapons bans. A quick search on the site for "assault weapons" brings up short biographies on each of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The "Agenda" tab of the site shows nothing concerning future weapons bans. As a last-ditch effort, searching on the keyword "weapon" adds a third piece to the above mentioned search results. This third one notes that they plan on keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Could it be that this man intends to listen to The People after all? We can only hope. It was an electorate landslide, but a slim margin of the popular vote. The fact of the matter is that at most, the very slight majority voted for him. There are still doubts that it was even that many of us. It would serve this upcoming administration well to listen to The People. Whether an assault weapons ban is still in the works or not is not clear right now, but the message has been sent, and seems to have been received.

I believe that we all believe in change, but some of us want the right kind of change. There is a huge group of us that don't want some vacuous, mysterious, unknown change. I will keep praying for these men, and I will keep up the hope that we see positive change. I'm not holding my breath, but I do still want to be wrong about them. I, like many others, have been frightened about some of the change that may come with this passing of the torch, but am nearly as frightened of the possible reactions to such change. I don't want to see a civil war or a return of terrorist attacks. I don't want to go into exile because of my beliefs. Granted, these would be radical reactions, but the change that he seems to have proposed is radical as well.

Only time will tell, and we have not cleared the rapids by a long shot. We must hold on to hope, and we must hold this new administration accountable for what kind of change is acceptable. That is the bottom line. In the meantime, I know that many will be bolstering their arsenals, stocking up on weapons, ammunition, and high-capacity magazines. I can't say that I blame them in the least, and I hope that it is a clear message to those that might attempts to infringe upon the rights to such things. We may have voted in different ways, but ultimately, we are all in this boat together. If we row in different directions, who knows where we'll end up? Pray for whatever is right, hope for the best, and communicate with those that we have appointed as our leaders - by any and all means possible.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hail To The Chief II. -Concerning My Best Friends

The way of things is odd, to say the least.

When I got married, I married my best friend. After nearly ten years, she remains my best friend and my soul-mate. We have made it a point to grow closer together rather than drifting apart, as I have seen many couples do with the weathering of the years. At this point, it just seems natural to spend the time together that we do. Most people who meet us have no idea that we have been together for so long. I like it this way. I'm looking forward to the next decade with her and the one after that, so on and so forth.

If you are close friends with your family, i. e. parents, siblings, cousins, count yourself as fortunate. This is a blessing, and not to be taken for granted. My wife and I are very close to my brother and sister in law. I value their friendship and their place in my life. Granted, I may get annoyed at them from time to time, but that is the way of siblings, isn't it? If you don't get annoyed at them, you probably aren't that close.

All that being said, I come to inner-circle best friends. I have three best friends that don't fit into any of the above categories (arguably). I'm speaking of non-blood relatives that are close enough friends that they may as well be. These three friends in no particular order are Darren, Beej, and Sean. Something else that these three people share in common other than essentially being non-blood relatives to me is that they all three voted for Barack Obama on Tuesday, and I don't think any less of them for it.

I've known Beej since I was in second grade. Back then, she was a squirrelly little kid, and went by Bridget. Of course, I was also a squirrelly little kid, and I was known as Michael. Later, she decided to go by her initials, B. J. She found that this new moniker had mixed results, and her group of friends settled into calling her "Beej," even in written word. Beej is a highly gifted, highly intellectual individual that has had the most unique personal story that I can recall. But, I would have to let her tell you about that on her own time and motivation. When Jenni and I took up handgunning in January, 2008, it kind of scared Beej at first. She wanted to come for a range session with us just to see what it was about. After her first trip to the range, she was hooked and the disease took her over. She now has a Smith & Wesson revolver and a Sig 9mm and has been thinking about getting herself a shotgun and some formal training. She thoughtfully listens to and reads our conservative views, but doesn't embrace them on our word. I'm proud of her for that. If everyone could openly consider all viewpoints and come up with their own independently, the world would be a better place to live.

I've known Darren for nearly as long as Beej. I can't remember whether it was in late grade school or junior high when Darren and I met. Darren has done some really crazy stuff in his life. He has a cabin out in the woods, but currently leads the career military life with his wife who is a nurse for the United States. In high school, Darren and I chased after some of the same girls. We've always had our differences, and never let them bother us. I've always been an opinionated fan of Japanese cars, and he has always been vocal about his Pontiacs. There have been times that we poked fun at each other for such differences, but at the end of the day, we'll drink from the same scotch bottle. I think it was during the 2004 election that I discovered how vastly different our political views were. I have to admit that I was shocked at the time. Darren has had points in his life when I thought to myself, "Dear Lord, he's going to kill himself." But such is they way with young men, I suppose. This is how we grow into full-fledged, grown men. I can't help but wonder if he thought the same of me from time to time.

I have been friends with Sean for the shortest amount of time of any of these three dear friends. I met Sean about 7 years ago maybe? We were fast friends from day one. He and I were both driving (and modifying) 1983 Honda Civic Station Wagons. He had commented that he wanted to lower his. Without hesitation, I asked Sean to buy the supplies needed and to bring them to my house on my day off, and we would lower his car. I didn't really know the first thing about him, but he struck me as a good person. My first impression of him could not have been more right. Sean and I got to know each other over the engine compartments of many Japanese cars. Together, we fixed some basket cases, and screwed up perfectly good drivers in the pursuit of making them perform better. I have fond memories of some of those monstrosities, which took on personalities of their own and were usually unfit for public roads in their final forms. Sean is a metal man. He has a heart made of solid gold, a mind like a steel trap, iron convictions, and if I had a sister, I would do everything in my power to marry her off to him so we actually could be brothers.

As I said before, all three of them voted for BHO. I find it incredibly interesting that I felt so very strongly about this election - that it was not a matter of black and white, or right and left but to me it had become a matter of right and wrong or good and evil - and yet, the three people that I would consider family except for the lack of blood relation each disagreed with me on this point. Of course, with the way my brain works, I'm trying to find correlation - some sort of cause-and-effect situation in or about my life that could explain what would seem to be such an odd coincidence. I have spoken with each of them in turn about the election. They all know that I'm opinionated and outspoken (that's just the nice way of saying a big-mouthed punk). A great friend will allow that and still care about you. Each of them has seemed hesitant to touch the issue to varying degrees, I suppose in fear that they would elicit my opinion maybe? I shudder to think that that could be the case!

Ultimately, I hope they find that I am proud that my friends think about things, and have individual beliefs and opinions. I hope they know that when it comes down to it, we agree on all of the important stuff. I believe that God's Will is the One Constant, and though different stuff happens because of what we as people do, His Plans will come about one way or another. I am a believer in the strength of the individual. I am a believer in unity in small groups. Once you really get down to it, these people - my immediate family, my extended family, and my adopted family - are more important than all the people in DC rolled up into one big, corrupt ball. As I wrote in my previous entry, I hope they are right and I am wrong on this one. I also hope that such petty things never damage friendships like these.

(By the way, I still think you guys voted wrong! ;-P)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hail To The Chief.

To the majority voters who will doubtlessly not read my blog,

I do not address this blog entry to my regular readers, as that would be preaching to the choir... Well, it would be more like preaching to the duet, but that's not the point. My readers know where I stand and why I stand where I do. This blog entry is addressed to the hopefuls that want change in government. You wanted change, and you got it. We shall see if this is the change that you had in mind. My wager is that this is not going to turn out to be the change that you bargained for. Fasten your seat belts, Americans. It's going to be a rough ride.

Yesterday morning, I stood in line with my wife and son at 6:15 a. m. to cast my vote. There were three people in front of us in the line outside the locked doors. By the time 7:00 rolled around, there were at least 200 people in line behind us. We were all aware that history was in the making. The energy was electric. Young and old were there, men and women, civilians and a police officer. A woman in a wheelchair had come to cast her vote. My son got to bear witness to an event whose magnitude did not strike him at the time. One day, he will think back on it and realize the heft of the experience.

I voted for the man who has proven his natural born citizenship. I voted for the man who has proven his allegiance with the United States of America. I voted for the man that has served us, and is committed to serve us moving forward. I voted for the man who has no questionable acquaintances. I voted for the man whom we honestly need more in Congress than we do in the White House right now. And for that, we won. In the Great State of Oklahoma, it was a landslide victory for the Republicans. But at the end of the day, we only have seven electoral votes to give our nation.

Senator Obama won the election. Whether it was a legitimate win, or a scandalous, dirty trick by ACORN, we may never know. But, the fact of the matter is, Barack Hussein Obama will be our next President. He took the country by storm on a campaign of Change, just as Fidel Castro and Adolph Hitler did before him. Similar to them, he has made a show of religious beliefs and family values to woo The People. His mantra of "Spreading the Wealth Around" is born out of the phrase, "From Each According to His Ability to Each According to His Need" as his predecessor, Karl Marx put it in his 1875 Critique of the Gothica Program. Following such great men, President Obama will be our leader until 2012.

Yesterday, We the People of the United States of America made history not by electing the first half-black President, but by electing the first radical left wing, Socialist President of the United States of America. He has made it clear that he detests handguns, semi-automatic weapons, and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. His Vice President, Joe Biden, wrote the original "Assault Weapons Ban" which vilified a number of semi-automatic, scary looking, plastic-stocked rifles. These two men will try to disarm the populace as would the a fore mentioned Castro, Hitler, or Marx. That is the first step towards a totalitarianistic, military state. In order to control the people, you must assure that they cannot fight you. Every dictator or dictator hopeful knows that.

I want to be wrong about the guy, I really do. In fact, I've never so badly wanted to be wrong about something before in my life. I do not want to panic, nor incite panic, nor do I condone anyone else panicking. John McCain has asked his supporters to shift their allegiance to our newly elected, and we should. The to-be-President Obama spoke to The People and asked that those that do not support him would choose to do so, and I believe we should listen. Just as I believe that the 3/4 of the country that do not approve of President Bush should support him because he is our President, so I believe that we who voted against Obama should give him our support because of the respect that the position demands.

This is not to say that we should roll over and die. I'm not for one instant going to relinquish my rights or my opinions without a fight, and nor should anyone else. This man works for us, we do not work for him. We shall hold him accountable in his position as he takes his place in the White House. If he does not adhere to the laws that he is subject to, we shall impeach him, just like we did President Clinton. He must be held accountable for his actions, and he must understand that he is our servant. Realistically, we have two years of a left-controlled government to weather. At that point, we will have the opportunity to reset the balance of power, and reset it we will. In the meantime, I will follow President Obama with a tight grip on my Freedoms and Liberties.

Dear LORD,

Please watch over our country. Please bless President Obama with the wisdom necessary to lead our great country. Grant him clarity of thought and judgement, and allow him to be the great President that like-minded individuals and I do not expect him to be. Let our temptation to panic be completely unfounded, and bless the four years that our nation has in front of it.

God, bless America. Heal our economy and protect us from our enemies. Please forgive us when we sin against You. Please protect our troops and deliver quick and decisive resolutions to our foreign activities. Bless the leaders in our great military, and compel them to treat even our prisoners of war kindly, as we have in past wars.

Lord, let Your followers glorify You. Let us shine like beacons in a dark world so that the rest of the world sees us and knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that we are indeed One Nation, Under God, Indivisible. Let us trust You and Your Wisdom in an age that seems so incredibly troubled. Give us peace and direction.

In Your Son's Holy Name, Amen.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Fourth of November

Remember, remember the fourth of November
ACORN, Sleazing and Plot
I know of no reason
Why the Campaigning Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Obama, Obama, t'was his great goal
To turn the U. S. into a Communist Hell Hole
His friends and associates are the worst miscreants
He won't even prove that he's not an illegal immigrant;
By God's providence his plan can be choked
From 'spreading the wealth', making all of us broke.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, ignore liberal trolls.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, get your ass to the polls!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crocs - WTF?

My wife, Jenni has been scratching her head (and banging it against the wall) over new developments from Crocs, the friendly, ugly shoe company. I was so fascinated from these new offerings that I had to go check it out for myself. Alas, the offerings that they have for men's footwear are as ugly as ever. If I caught myself wearing these or these, I'd have to kick my own ass. And, with the squishy croslite(tm) that they are made of, it would be a solely unsatisfying experience (pun very much intended).

Life is simply too short to wear ugly shoes. That's why most of my footwear will come from Nocona, Dan Post, and Moreschi. Granted, I don't think that anyone should have to pay a million bucks to look like it. I haven't paid retail prices for shoes since I was in junior high and didn't know any better. (Ebay is your friend in this area.) Men's shoes should be uniquely masculine, but they ought to look good as well. I like a pair of shoes that I can wear with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt all day, brush them off at home and put on my suit to go to a formal occasion.

Some people will say "But Crocs are so coooooooomfortable!" I like my shoes to wear and wear and wear. You get a well-made pair of shoes, take care of them, and they will be incredibly comfortable, and last for a long time. ...And, they don't look like a Nerf football. Who looks good with Nerf footballs on their feet? Nobody. I'll tell you what, you put on your Nerf-looking garden clogs, and I'll wear something more like these. We'll wear them with jeans all day at work, or the mall, or the gun range or whatever. At the end of the day, we'll brush them off and wear them with suits to a formal occasion in the evening. We'll see how that goes over visually as a comparison. Once you finally kick them off in the evening, will your fee hurt? I don't know. I've never worn Crocs (because I don't want somebody's dog to try to retrieve my foot to it's owner). What I do know is that my fee will be fine.

I know that pretty much all of my shoes are artisan-made in the United States, Italy, Brazil, and Mexico. According to Crocs FAQ's, they are made:
Crocs shoes are manufactured in many countries around the world including Italy, Mexico, China, Brazil, Vietnam, Bosnia, and Romania.

That's actually a far better resume than I expected. I prefer to think that a little kid in a third-world country is not working in a factory for 12-hours a day to put my shoes together. It makes me feel bad. I really don't mind paying a little extra to make sure that doesn't happen. That's one of the biggest reasons that I've pretty well switched completely over to the types of shoes that I wear now.

Could Crocs be the way of the future in the shoe industry? I don't know. It kind of looks like they have a pretty good foothold (why yes, that one too). Whatever the future holds for Crocs in the shoe industry, I hope that as they continue to grow and prosper, they will act responsibly towards their consumers, employees, and community. Well, that's my hope for any business in any industry one it comes down to it. At any rate, I don't see myself buying any of these hideous monstrosities in their current format.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ten Things that Everybody Knows about Sci-Fi

This is a list of ten things that everyone knows about Sci-Fi, or should anyway. If you don't know these things, you need to study and memorize the list in case the aliens attack or something to assure your survival.

1. You can disable or destroy any Artificial Intelligence with a Logic Paradox.
Example -
"You are programmed not to harm me, and you are programmed to do whatever I say. So, I say kill me!"
"Does not compute."
The AI (robot, computer, whatever) smokes and shuts down.

2. When one piolots a mecha-giant-robot war toy, one has to shout commands as well as operate controls to access it's unique features/weapons.
Example -
*Pulling a lever with one hand and punching a large button with the other,* "Giant Mecha Robo twin cannon activate. Fire bomb hail storm NOOOOWWWWW!!!!"
At this point, there are extensions that unfold from deep within the machine, seemingly from a multi-dimensional pocket, and blast some enormous blue energy balls that light up the horizon and burn the bad guy to a crisp.
As a side note, here is a questionnaire that will help you choose the mecha that's right for you!

3. The best way to kill zombies is a heavy blow to the central nervous system. Buckshot from a short-shotgun works really well for this. So does a baseball bat, for that matter. Let's never forget Magnum revolvers. They take care of zombies quickly and with style. Just don't forget to make them all head shots or your head may be the next one to go!

4. The extra always dies. This is just a given. If you are "Joe Workman" on your ship, and the Captian, First Officer, and the Security Officer want you to join them on an away mission to the surface of a seemingly serene planet, DON'T DO IT!!! Turn in your resignation and get escorted to the brig for insubordination. Use the example script below as a guideline:
CPT: "Joe, come to the surface with #1 and me."
YOU: "Uh... No thanks."
CPT: "That's an order from a Commanding Officer!"
YOU: "Yeeeeaaaah. You can take your shuttle craft and shove it up your XXX for all I care. I'm not going to that planet. So, XXXX you and your XXXXXXX Federation."
You can settle on a moon somewhere, raising cattle-like creatures and drinking beer for the rest of your life once you get discharged, but you will be alive. Let some other schmuck do the senseless dying.

5. If you find that you have traveled backwards in time, you will screw stuff up. If television and movies have told us anything truthful, everything will work out in the end, but no amount of being careful will prevent it. Step on a bug, breath in some air, or have relations with your own grandmother - it doesn't really make a difference. No matter what happens, you WILL make a mess, and it WILL all settle back to normal in two hours or less. Usually, everything will be fine in just under half an hour.

6. The monster will not be dead when it is first apparently so. Don't let it take you by surprise! If you have been battling the creature in a close struggle for what seems like an eternal string of close calls, don't get too comfortable when you first smash in it's carapace and it's alien guts are spilled out on the floor. It WILL invariably have at least one more come-back attack left in it, no matter how dead it seems. Hard battle isn't the only strategy to be used against such a menace, anyway. There are many creative ways to rid the Earth of threats.

7. Beware the effects of ratiation! Exposure to radiation can cause grotesque mutation in living creatures, and can animate inanimate objects. If possible, avoid radiation altogether. If it is unavoidable, watch out for such effects!

8. Vampire chicks are always hot and dressed slutty. If you run across a hot chick in a skimpy outfit, don't turn your back (or your neck) on her. There stands a very good chance that she is a child of the night.

9. The ship's Captain may wear makeup and get handsey with male members of the crew, but he is NOT gay! Examples: James T. Kirk, Flash Gordon. Tell me I'm wrong here.

10. Alien food is good food! Whether it's blue Romulan Ale, Klingon blue spaghetti, or blue milk that Luke Skywalker drinks with his family on Tatooine, alien food is basically the same as Earth food with blue food coloring in it. A good rule of thumb is that if it's not moving anymore, it's safe to eat. So, eat and drink up!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Got "Tagged"

The Rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.

3. Tag 7 random people and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. (Sorry. I'm not going to do this part.)


I think my wife said it best when she said "Awe crap!" The biggest problem here is that I know that I know at least seven literate people, but Jenni and I together don't know many more than that who will admit to knowing what a computer is, much less have a blog. *Why did you tag me, my love?* Therefore, I'm going to have to get creative in order to participate. First of all, seven random facts:

1. We have six revolvers in our household which we have named "Lust," "Envy," "Pride," "Wrath," "Greed" and "Gluttony." Obviously, the next revolver will be named "Sloth" by default. We are kicking around the idea of naming our shotgun "Deliverance" and our AR-15 "Rapture."

2. I can do most any repair operation to a car except for internal transmission work. I never really got to tearing into transmissions, preferring to just change them out for a rebuilt or salvaged unit. It's amazing how many miles you can put on a well-built transmission!

3. I can't wear a quartz watch. They just die. I've had them last as long as eight or nine weeks, but usually no longer than five or six. Weaker radios lose their tuning, and they hiss and static in my presence. When I was a phlebotomist, I discovered that my hematocrit is unusually high as compared to the average. Most people who have as much iron in their blood as I do often wind up with some specific, serious, health problems. I, on the other hand, feel weak and sickly when my iron drops into the "normal" range. I've found that my body puts up almost no electrical resistance as compared to other people, as is evidenced by ohmmeters. I can sense electric fields, magnetic fields, and large ferrous objects. I have to believe that this is all related, but I don't know how. My son exhibits some of the same characteristics. How weird is all of that?

4. In Junior High, I wrote a large chunk of a saga of a novel, but never finished it. When I went back and read through a bunch of it, it sounds like a 12 to 13-year-old's writing. There are 1000-some odd hand-written pages sitting in my office somewhere as I couldn't bring myself to pitch it.

5. I used to be able to hold my breath for on top of five-minutes underwater with relative ease. I think I got close to six once. I lost a really good Soviet Russian watch that way. A girl had been playing with it and left the crown unscrewed. This was particularly heart-breaking as affordable mechanical watches can be hard to come by.

6. I've only really been using computers for a few years now. I want to say that it was in 2003 or 2004 that I really started. When I was growing up, my brother and I weren't much allowed to touch Dad's computer. I think he was afraid that we would break it. Jen and I got married in 1998 and it took us that long to actually get a home computer. At this point, that seems really sad, but I can certainly relate to those people who are scared of computers.

7. Jenni and I got married in December of 1998. In under two months, we will have been married for ten years! It really doesn't seem like it's been that long, and I'm looking forward to the next ten. Most of the people we knew who got married around the same time we did have since gotten divorced. I think that's terrible, and have to wonder what we have done right that they did not. At the risk of getting really sappy, I wish that everyone could be as happy as we are.

As I stated before, I don't know seven people to send this to that Jenni didn't already "tag." So, I'll do my best here.

1. JAFO. This is a dude I have met on a gun forum. He seems to have pretty much all the same political views that I do. This is probably why we get along so well.

2. Poliwax. This is one of the smarter people whom I have read on the internet. I know that he cruises past my blog from time to time, but I severely doubt that he'll participate in something like this.

3. Some nutty feminist that I linked for a previous blog entry. She wouldn't post my comment on her blog, and I can't say I blame her. If she tracks links, she might surprise. Somehow I doubt that will happen since I've got the wrong plumbing for her to treat me equally (and somehow I'm the sexist).

4 & 5. Greg & Beth. These people are SO COOL! I read their blog fairly often, but I don't think they know who I am. I could be wrong, I suppose.

6. I was going to tag Jenni's resident troll, but he never gives a real url at which to contact him, but his incredibly thoughtful comments can be read here.

7. Will Rhodes. He's a British Liberal living in Canada, and I participated in a nice debate with him on my wife's blog concerning the DC vs. Heller decision. I wouldn't mind hearing from him again, as he is thoughtful and well-educated, even if we completely disagree on the gun control issue.

It's a little gruesome, but there's seven right there. Jenni, NEVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spambot Girls - The Breakup.


This is a recurring spam message that I keep receiving in my email at work. In this oddly-posed, red-clad, low-resolution picture that I was sent anonymously over the interweb, this Ukrainian girl just looks so cute that I've fallen in love at first sight. Whether she is 'shopped together as a conglomeration from pics of other girls or if she is the real deal, and although I am separated from her by terabytes and thousands of miles of land and ocean (and possibly reality), I regret to inform both of my readers that I can see no other recourse but to leave my marriage in pursuit of TatianaG, my one true love. She's obviously the only attractive woman in the Ukraine, as evidenced by her picture being the only one that has been sent to me. And, her complete and utter devotion is shown in her persistence of sending me her picture multiple times a day for weeks on end. My spam filter cannot stand between us, and all I have to do is "Click here to sign up (Absolutely FREE!!!)" to be in ultimate bliss with my TatianaG. Each of those capital letters and superfluous exclamation marks say it so well! Sure, she thinks my name is "Dating!" but it says in RED LETTERS that she is waiting for me! On those grounds alone, maybe I should have my name legally changed to "Dating!" (with the exclamation mark, of course) prior to my journey to Ukraine to claim my bride.

Wait a minute... ...she was born in 1977 and she's 29? Oh, she's one of THOSE girls. In twenty years, she'll still claim 29, I'm sure. Her body type won't be so "cuddly" then, and people will be giving me consolation that my 29-year-old wife looks so much older.

Know what, TatianaG? I'm sorry. Beyond the merits of your demure smile and sexy, low-res pic, I'm not sure things are going to work out between us. There's just no place in this world - virtual or otherwise - for a girl (or possibly a bot) like you and a guy like me. Shh, shh. I know. My heart is breaking as well, but please don't cry or argue. I know in my heart that there's a man (or program) out there for you. There's no reason that the most attractive woman in the Ukraine (allegedly) should spend her life alone. It's not you - really it isn't. It's me. There's no way that I could keep up with the active, fabulous lifestyle of a web-spider riding Spambot Girl. So, please - let's make this a clean break. Please stop sending me your seductive picture. My heart just can't take it anymore. I've got a life I need to get back to, and I don't need your distractions, and there are other inboxes that I'm sure will yield you better results. Truth be told, I will miss you, TatianaG. *sniff, sniff*

Friday, October 17, 2008

Picking Up & Dropping Off at School

King Solomon once said:
There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a maiden.

(Proverbs 30:18-19)

Today, it might have been five things, because Solomon never got to see the illogical frenzy that parents get in when they are at the school to deposit or retrieve their kids. Since it is Fall Break, Kiddo is off to the lake with Grandpa and Grandma. We have not had to drop him off at school, nor pick him up afterward, and it has been a nice break. I believe that I would prefer for there to be no other parents or kids there, but I had to take off my shoes and socks and walk across 50-meters of glass shards and carry the boy back to the car. Yes, the trade-off would be well worth it.

I Am Joe

It's about time someone represented us in politics. I don't envy him for having his life trifled with by the political, leftist, media machine. But, like other bloggers, some of whom I know, some I do not, it's time for me to take a stand. How about you? Will you join the revolution? I am Joe. Are you?

UPDATE:

Merchandise

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Of OS and Men

I wish there was a better computer operating system available. I have some pointed complaints about the big three.

The thing that I hate about Apple is they have this neat way of doling out technology so they can milk maximum profit from it. Take the iphone for example. The first one, which had all of two neat features, sucked by comparison to the one today, which does all the stuff a Blackberry does, and you can't tell me that they were not capable of doing the nifty tricks of the new one back then - or at least some of them. It's like they've got a little panel of people whose job it is to sit around and decide the minimum they can give a product and still make you want it really, really bad. Then, when people start to get tired of it, they'll release the next one with a few more features.

M$ OTOH, releases some kind of mutated, pile of crap that they are going to charge you a premium for, and calls it the next best thing. Vista, for example. Let's face it, it has taken them well over a decade to get the NT kernel working as well as it currently is. Even so, it's still buggy and fragile as OS's are concerned. Then, they say they've released the final bug fix which is the bestest, most goodest OS ever ever, it's going to be an impenetrable fortress of an OS that will be super-duper user-friendly and it will poop rainbows. And, it's Vista. It won't run your drivers without some *ahem* creative manipulation and some eleven-year-old in Bosnia hacks the kernel three hours after the official release.

Then, you have Linux. Don't like to spend a lot of time configuring? Don't use Linux. Don't like to or understand how to script? Linux is not for you. Want to run proprietary software? Not going to work on Linux unless you want to spend A LOOOOOOOT of time configuring (a PHD wouldn't hurt). Need special drivers for your hardware? Keep your fingers crossed, and plan on spending a lot of time configuring. Want to work full-time and have a social life? You probably don't want to use Linux. Do you live in your parent's basement, don't have a girlfriend, and find yourself bored off your gourd for hours upon hours? Give Linux a whirl!

This is probably the reason that I don't really have my own PC running at home currently.

Long Live Free Enterprise!

It seems to be a hot issue that people are following the Left so blindly. Look at what Poliwax or JAFO have to say about it.

It makes me sick when people take the attitude of, "You will prove that you are not a racist by voting for the black guy." Excuse me!?!??!?!? I'm going to prove that I'm not a racist by voting for the best guy for the job, regardless of his race! To do otherwise IS THE DEFINITION of racism!

The Dems try to argue that up is down, left is right, and the sky is green. They talk about "reasonable gun restrictions," "a woman's right to choose" and "spreading the wealth around" in generalized terms that sound noble on the surface and belie their true meanings of "disarm the population so they are easier to control," "guilt young women into murdering their unborn children" and "institute wide-spread socialism."

It's a frightening world we live in when such idiocy is threatening the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. This is supposed to be the Last Stand, the Haven for those who believe in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. And yet, they are trying to turn it into a "fair" place where everyone gets to go see the doctor regardless of what he or she gives to life or how one handles one's own resources. -a "fair" place where the most successful tow all the others behind them on a chain.

I don't WANT to have the richest of the rich subsidizing my lifestyle. I LIKE being middle-class, and I LIKE the opportunity to pull myself up by my own bootstraps. My household was not always middle-class. There was a time when we calculated our gross income and found that we were comfortably BELOW the poverty line. We were not only applicable for welfare assistance, we were GUARANTEED to get it if we had only applied. But, we were too F-ing proud, and still are. We were eating healthy, nutritious meals, we had clothing to wear, we had a warm, dry house to come home to, and we had love for each other - the three of us - and ambitions that kept us striving for better. We also had the Love of God, Who made sure our needs were met, no matter how poor we were.

Of our own determination and hard work, we rose to where we are today. If someone else had dragged us to where we are today (burdened to do so, or by their own choice), we would not have learned the lessons that we did along the way. I do not WANT the government to take away my opportunity for success or failure, because I INTEND to succeed ON MY OWN, by God's Grace. I don't WANT my success to come out of anyone else's pocket. I don't WANT to take the same opportunities away from anyone that is less fortunate than me. If I see someone who is truly struggling, I will not callously look on in disinterest, but I will not give them a hand-out that will not ULTIMATELY help them. I want to see them succeed too much for that.

Welfare should not be to support lifestyle. Welfare should be a temporary fix for those who are in the PROCESS of failing to a degree that they can never recover from it. I don't want anyone to take away my ability to fail, for in as much, he takes away my ability to succeed. Everyone should have such opportunity - to truly LIVE the American Dream.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Obamabomb IV

I had read about this one, but this was the first that I had seen this particular faux pas.

video

What kind of Mosque Church do you go to again, Barry?

*Sigh* Feminists...

My wife sent me this link yesterday. It's worth the read. It kind of embodies everything that the feminists are crooning about currently. We'll see whether the blogger allows my response to come out of moderation (copied and pasted below). Want to take any bets?

"— if you ask me. "

Who did, for that matter? Your narrow-mindedness astounds me. Feminists don't like Sarah Palin because she is incapable of being the victim. If women empower themselves, the feminists' fight is over. We can't have that, can we now? What meaning would your life have if you couldn't piss and moan about how we men are trying to keep you down?

Like many Conservatives (and Liberals for that matter), I think that you have the right to do whatever you want with your own body. By that rational, I think seat-belt and helmet laws are stupid, and it is asinine that suicide is illegal. I also believe that murder is wrong. If there was a way to level the playing field and have a calm, open discussion on the issues and implications of abortion, I would be all for it. But, when you take the attitude that the opposition is "anti-choice" and put words in other people's mouths concerning your anatomy, you make yourself look like a narrow-minded fool.

I don't go on and on about what you people think I should do with my penis. Come to think of it, I've not heard any self-respecting man piss and moan about anybody telling him what he should or should not do with his penis.

Just for the sake of argument, say Joe Somebody met you in a bar, drinks were had, and you made it home to Joe's house. You got pregnant and made the choice to have the baby - just for the sake of the argument. You contact DHS and have Joe served with papers, because he's the dad and you want child support. What choice does Joe have? He doesn't. This seems like a double standard, doesn't it?

Why is it that in our society, women get to choose whether or not they want to be a mom after they have made poor decisions, but men do not get afforded a similar luxury? To that end, why are you still bitching?

Get over yourself. Nobody is making you do anything.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Leftists

I decided to Google out a "Love Obama" forum on the internet and get into it under cover, slowly bringing my real views about after starting by spouting the kind of crap that I usually hear from them. At about 9:00 a. m. on Wednesday, October 8, 2008, the thread started like this:

McFibber even though we admire his military carrier, as president he would stink. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, D W Eishenhouser all military heros, all stunk as president. J F Kennedy was a military hero but his term was too short judge. G H W Bush, was shot down like McCain but rescued, he was no diamond in the rough either. But he did not stink, just a strange odor.


There were a couple of generic rhetorical commenters, and then an anonymous "Commenter," from Wangnimni, Korea (And, I don't hold you at fault if you do not read his complete opinion. He's a little long-winded.):

Obama Must Campaign Outside of Philadelphia 5-County Region
By comment

Obama could lose Pennsylvania, much like John Kerry lost Ohio, if he does not begin campaigning outside of the core vote area of Philadelphia 5-county region. Kerry carried 4 of these 5 and lost Chester County by 10,000 votes.

If you look at counties at the margin by number of votes lost in 2004, the critical counties are those John Kerry carried more than 40% of the vote, total votes cast more than 50,000 and won or lost county by less than 11,000 votes.

This leaves you with head to head battle ground in 17 Counties. The goal should be for Obama/Biden to carry 9 of these. As the Democratic Party strengths are in the East and that major media markets of New York City and Philadelphia have coverage in Lehigh Valley, the Greater Lehigh Valley is the key area as it contains 6 of the 17 counties that were not carried by large margins and the criteria I set forth above by either candidate in 2004.

This will leave you with major battle for votes at the margin, in order of importance: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, and Schuylkill, Monroe, and Carbon counties.

If you now look at fundraising level, you get an interesting picture of how close PA truly is. After removing fundraising of counties that have raised the most money and who John Kerry carried in 2004 (Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, Delaware, and Lackawanna), you are left with a near dead heat in fundraising. Obama $1.355 million, McCain 1.358 million. McCain is carrying key counties of the greater Lehigh Valley, in fund raising margin. This includes Lehigh ($147,000), Northampton ($41,000), Monroe ($1000), Carbon ($3,800), and Schuylkill ($3000). Obama only leads in fund raising in Berks ($8000). This gives McCain an almost $190,000 fund raising edge in the greater Lehigh Valley.

If one looks at how you carry Pennsylvania, Obama is off track. The reliance on the Rendell strategy and team could cost him an important state, much like Kerry who engaged in under campaigning in Akron and Columbus areas in Ohio in 2004 and focusing on core region of Cleveland. The Rendell team has Obama locals making the same fundamental mistake of focusing on the Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware core region.

Obama must get into these counties and particularly a heavy campaigning presence in the greater Lehigh Valley (Lehigh, Northampton and its near/bordering counties of Berks, Monroe, Carbon and Schuylkill) if he is to carry Pennsylvania. There is a reason that McCain abandoned Michigan early, they are coming full strong to carry Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. You can not win the Presidency if you lose all three of these traditional industrial areas. The key to carrying two of the three are to campaign in Columbus, OH and Allentown, PA. Obama needs to spend the next three weeks principally in these two cities and their surrounding suburbs.

PS- On a side note, this is how Governorships are made or lost. Don Cunningham becomes the key to this strategy and not the local Congressional candidate or County Party leaders. Cunningham has to unite the Lehigh Democratic Party machine and position himself as the guy who can deliver votes in the Lehigh Valley. If he does this, his election for Governorship will be locked up in 2010 because he will have party machines of Lehigh Valley, Scranton and Philadelphia behind him. You can not lose when you have all 3. I am undecided if Governor Cunningham would be a good or a bad thing.

Projected Number of Visits by Obama/Biden (Man Days)
East (9)
Greater Lehigh Valley Region (6) Total Visits 14
Lehigh (GLV)– Allentown 5 Visits
Northampton (GLV)– Bethlehem/Easton 5 Visits
Berks (GLV)– Reading 1 Visits
Monroe (GLV)– Stroudsburg 1 Visits
Schuylkill (GLV)– Pottsville/Hazleton 1 Visit
Carbon (GLV)– Jim Thorpe/Lehighton 1 Visit
Total Visits YTD- 0
# Visits to Complete Yet 14
Goal: Rally in Allentown (5), Bethlehem (4), Easton (1), Reading (1), East Stroudsburg (1), Pottsville (1), Jim Thorpe (1)
October 15 – November 1

Philadelphia 5 County Region 16 Total Visits
Bucks (SE)– Bristol 3 Visits
Chester (SE)– Chester/West Chester 3 Visits
Total Visits YTD- 7
# Visits to Complete Yet 9
Goal: Bristol (3), West Chester (2), Chester (1), Philadelphia (3 – Night Fundraisers/1 Day Rally)
October 14-22

Lackawanna Valley Region/Scranton 1 Total Visit
Luzerne (NE)– Wilkes-Barre 1 Visit
Total Visits YTD- 4
# Visits to Complete Yet 0
West (6)– Total Visits 10
Erie (NW)– Erie 2 Visit
Fayette (SW)
Beaver (SW)– Beaver, Aliquippa 4 Visits
Washington (SW)– Washington 1 Visit
Cambria (SW)
Mercer (NW)
Total Visits YTD- 7
# Visits to Complete Yet 3
Goal: Erie (2), Washington (1)
October 11-13

Central (2) Total Visits 2
Centre – State College/Penn State 1 Visit
Dauphin – Harrisburg 1 Visit
Total Visits YTD- 0
# Visits to Complete Yet 2
Goal: State College (1), Harrisburg (1)
October 9-10

Core Area – 26 Total Visits (Night Fund Raising)
Philadelphia 5 County Visits 16
Allegheny County l Visits 10
Total Visits YTD- 14
# Visits to Complete Yet 12


Woah, that's a lot of opinion about our politics from the other side of the globe! And, then this came from a gentleman who actually wrote from Pennsylvania, called Flavious_Maximus:

Get ready for an extreme radical black nationalist bisexual President of the United States. All you liberal democrats who think Obama is going to usher in a new age utopia are just committing suicide. You will be the first to be put up against the wall and shot by his Marxist revolutionaries when he turns the country towards communism.


FM, don't sugar-coat it. Tell us what you think, buddy. He was of course, put down exactly like you would expect. This is when I decided to play. Under the moniker "Blue Colt," I decided to make my move. I thought the double meaning of my handle was clever and humorous. I posted this comment in my best impersonation of a moonbat:

I'm just glad to see that Obama is doing so well in the polls! It's funny that nobody has ever asked me to take a poll, though. The bottom line is this - all of these wingnuts need to quit clinging to their bibles and guns and vote for Change. Good grief, the last thing we need in this country is another 4-years of Bush!


I got no responses. There was noise and activity, but it was dull and lacked direction. So, I tried again in response to a jab at Asher:

It's true! Bob Asher IS a convicted felon! Look it up! We need to extend the vote to Korea so Comment can vote for Obama as well.


Still no responses to The Blue Colt. There were multiple duplicate slams against our friend Flavious from various posters, but no attention to The Colt. Several people mentioned the thing that McCain said about the Fed buying up bad home mortgages (which is worth discussing, given the implications), but nothing substantial beyond childish "nya nya" -ing. This is when I lost patience and decided to hit them with it:

I like the fact that Obama knows that American people are not smart or responsible enough to budget for their medical needs, energy needs, or housing. He realizes that the average American is stupid, irresponsible, unresourceful, and needs leadership that will tell them what to do. When asked about turning thermostats a little warmer over the hot Summer for energy conservation, GWB's typically stupid response was "I think the American People are smart enough to do that on their own if their electric bill is too high." It's nice that we have a candidate that doesn't think so much of us. I know that I'll be glad to have a President that knows what's best for me.


Forty-two minutes later, "Not Over" opined:

It's not over til it's over. The McCain campaign has to contend the election somewhere. If resources are pulled out of Michigan, they can't be pulled out of Pennsylvania, too. He has to wave the flag or contributions will dry up and Republicans farther down the ticket will suffer. Maybe that's deserved, but that's for the voters to decide.
If it were up to me, I'd send a whole new team down to Washington. Enough's enough!


*Cricket chirp, cricket chirp* That is a summary of the activity as of 12:30, at the 24th post.

3:45 update: No further activity. I scanned some of the other threads in the same forum, but no mention of Blue Colt. Maybe I'm just paranoid.

4:30 update: No further activity. I close with this comment:

When Obama is in charge, and he is justifying the increased taxation with a reach-around to the middle class, can we still consider that soft-stuffing as being screwed? The general opinion of the Left certainly seems to be "no." I just don't see how this guy has any means to relate to "the common man" with his aloof, elitist attitude, and his "you can't handle it without us" rhetoric. If you buy into his Marxist/Carter-ish plans, vote for him I suppose. I'm not in much of a hurry to repeat the Carter years or to live under a Communist government. I had hoped to see some more action on this forum, but I suppose I was hoping for too much. If you people were really analytical and intelligent, you would not be on this side of it.



UPDATE 10/9/08, 1313: More activity detected - my comments ignored. Next time, I may try the daily kooks.

Holster Progression

Well folks, it looks like I am a holster maker. Here are some pictures of my wife's cross-draw. I designed and stitched it, she wet-molded and finished it. Purple was her idea. She has now been wearing it for several weeks now, and it is doing really well for her. I hadn't had a chance to upload pics of it until recently. This sucker tucks in tight and conceals well under a vest, shirt, or jacket. It retains well in all of her daily activities as a mother, wife, and accountant; and yet the draw is easy and intuitive. We built it with an extra loop behind the grip to give her the option of using the same holster on a modular shoulder rig, which will be in the works soon.

2717006250098336179kFKhpH_fs

2669030760098336179SvHYLx_fs

There will be pictures of more holsters to follow. I've just finished my prototype, but I want to get some hard wear on it before I post a report.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Mom's First Experience with a Shotgun

I can't laugh too much. Most of her gunning experience has been with a nicely weighted .22-LR rifle. Taking that into consideration, she really didn't do too badly with the 20-gauge. Keep in mind that I detest internet videos of people put in situations to hurt themselves. Not funny. Mom didn't get hurt at all. This is VERY funny!



Oh by the way, I posted this video without her consent. She reads my blog occasionally. I wonder how long it will take for her to discover it...

*snicker!*

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Darwinism

Alright, peeps. I'm getting really sick of the humanistic atheists. It's time for a quick science lesson. Let's get three little facts straight:

1. When your glass "sweats" the liquid on the outside does not come from the inside. It works the same way as when your car windows fog up.

2. The "lead" in your pencil is not lead at all unless it's a hundred years old. It's graphite, and no amount of pencil stabbing will give someone lead poisoning.

3. Darwinian speciation is unsubstantiated, unscientific, and impossible. One day, the idea will be a relic of the intellectual dark age that we are currently in. It ranks right up there with the flat world theory and spontaneous generation.

That's all for now. Thanks for hearing my rant.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Action Adventure Vacation 2008 - Post-Ike Update

This may be less interesting to some than others. The red arrow indicates where we had our lunch snack that Jenni blogged about, and I also referred to on my blog.

fishtalesgalvestonhere

When we were in Galveston, this street was lined by businesses that are not there anymore. I think it's really interesting that the very building that we ate at is still there. It better puts the whole thing in perspective for me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

About Gun Control vs. Personal Responsibility

To both my readers,

As usual, I'm preaching to the choir on this one. I hope you enjoy anyway.

Imagine that you are in a room with nine other people. Of the ten people including you, nine of them are nice people. These nine are well-balanced, caring individuals that want to get along and be peaceful with each other. The tenth one is a sociopath. Number ten wants nothing more than to hurt others and generally be a jerk.

Let's imagine that there are no weapons allowed in the room. Of course, nine of you will comply and not have weapons. The tenth doesn't care what the rules are, and brings a gun in with the full knowledge that there are nine sitting ducks. It is possible that between nine of you, you could eventually overpower the tenth, albeit through some calculated bloodshed and collateral loss.

Now imagine if you will that weapons are welcome in this room - encouraged in fact. When our sociopath is in this room with nine other people who are well-armed, well-trained and well-practiced. Sure, he can bring a weapon in as well, but he has cause for concern in actually acting on his evil impulses. If he should choose to act on dark intentions, the other nine would be ready to quickly restore the peace.

If it should come to a firefight, nine responsible people would:
1) treat his or her weapon as if it were always loaded.
2) keep the weapon pointed away from each other.
3) keep his or her finger off the trigger until the perpetrator was in the sights.
4) not take the shot unless it was a clear one.

The fact of the matter is that people don't refrain from violence because it is illegal, or for fear of the repercussions. Good people refrain from violence because it is not right. Bad people don't refrain from violence because they don't care what is right or not.

Instead of a room of ten, let's put this scenario into the statistical scope of reality. According to the FBI, in the year 2007, there were an estimated 466.9 violent crimes per 100,000 people. This amounts to you being one person in a room of 214 people, of which one is an asshole. Keep in mind that this is a number on ALL violent crimes, not just gun-related violent crimes. That one person in 214 could be prone to pushing an old lady down the stairs, raping your sister, or any one of a number of atrocities including shooting another human being in cold-blood. Would you feel more or less comfortable if the other 213 were well-trained, well-practiced and well-armed?

This is why a well-armed society is a polite society. Not because everyone needs to have the threat of death hovering over their head - just the bad guys. Anyone who would consider gaining the training and practice, and arming themselves will get my encouragement and support.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Obamabomb III

In an exclusive interview with GMA, Barry had this to say:

"If we're going to ask questions about, you know, who has been promulgating negative ads that are completely unrelated to the issues at hand, I think I win that contest pretty handily," Obama said.


*In my very best BHO voice* If, umm... If we are going to, going to, you know, going to vote for this guy... ...and say that he has A Golden Tongue... Shouldn't we make sure, make sure that he can speak?

His supporters say he has "A Golden Tongue," but it's only dumbasses that seem to be still supporting him despite these flubs. Does that make his tongue pyrite?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Impeach? You've got to be kidding me!

I've been seeing bumper stickers like this for a while now. You know, I'm a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own stupid opinion, but this is just plain dumbassity! Sentiments like this are much akin to "I'm going to sue you even if I have to take it to the Supreme Court!" Yeah - you do that, dumbass.

It's like this: Should someone go to jail because you don't like them? Let's say that your neighbor really pisses you off. You can say all kinds of nasty things about them, but what if they aren't doing anything illegal or wrong? If the cops came and hauled them off, I hope your conscience would pang just a little bit. This is exactly what these "special" drivers are suggesting we do. They are suggesting that their dislike of our President is grounds for criminal charges on him. I'm sorry, but that is beyond the scope of everyone having their own stupid opinion. To me, that viewpoint is more criminal than what they are claiming against the man.

As these thoughts were taking on their current structure, I was reminded of my wife selling bumper stickers on her blog. I thought that I might try my hand at it as well. So, to all of you who know these people, and want to help re-direct them to not look so ignorant of due process and the way checks and balances work, I submit this jewel for your approval:


create & buy custom products at Zazzle

You can simply place this bumper sticker over the top of the offending, dumbass bumper sticker that they currently have. It works great if you buy a used car that it pre-decorated in all kinds of rhetorical tripe. It's not just for political stickers, either! If you have a preowned car that you have been unable to remove the "Keep Honking: I'm Reloading" or "I Brake for Blondes" sticker from, this can be like an apologetic white-out for your car. Old bumper stickers can get stubborn, after all.

Heck, this one works on the other side of the fence as well! From poll records to current approval ratings, a little over a quarter of our country's people who voted for G. W. B. TWICE has since changed their minds about him. Do you need to cover up that embarrassing "Bush 04" sticker? No big deal. You can use my sticker to say that it was a major FAIL on your part (although I would still have to disagree with you).

Anyway, I hope that both of my readers get a good laugh out of this post. If you both buy a sticker, I'll even earn $.80!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Palin for VP

I think it's really funny how one can directly gauge how nervous the left is by how preposterous their claims get. My wife, Jennifer sent me this one. And then, my friend, Instinct posted this link in his blog. The stories have gotten so ridiculously bigger-than-life. They make her out to be a gangster the likes of which would make the Clintons green with envy. Besides all of that, when did this become a race between Obama and Palin, anyway? She won't be running for president until the 2012 election. Regardless, this is how the rational *ahem* conversation goes between a typical Republican and Democrat:

Republican: "I'm concerned with Obama's lack of experience. He was a Community Organizer for a little while, and is a brand-new senator. He hasn't headed up any significant projects. Besides that, the way he talks makes it sound like the thinks that the Federal government should run our lives. I don't really want that to happen. Sure I've heard rumors questioning his citizenship and some other things, but I'd really rather not put too much weight on that. If he gets elected, surely they will check the proper paperwork. We can't get a driver's license without at least two forms of ID. I would think that to be President he would need to produce a birth certificate at least."

Democrat: "Huh uh! Palin is the one with NO experience! What does being a mom have anything to do with anything? She should have aborted all of her babies, if she's a real progressive woman, anyways. You know that she extorted all kinds of funds from the poor people in Alaska, and that she owns slaves, and hates everyone? She's scary! HOPECHANGE!"

Republican: "Um, okay. I don't know where you are getting your information, but I might be interested in seeing some documented evidence. You are bringing up some pretty serious accusations there. Besides that, you didn't even respond to what I said..."

Democrat: (interrupting) "And one time, she melted a nun with acid that she squirted out of her eyes! I know because I read it on libtard.com!"

Republican: "Those must be some good drugs you are on there, hippie. I'm sorry, I thought we were having a rational, respectful, political conversation. But, apparently..."

Democrat: (interrupting again) "She's an alien who has come to the Earth to take over and enslave our species! And she gave birth to bat-boy! And, and, and... ...and she ate Tokyo!!!"

Republican: "Look, buddy. You obviously have no interest in discussing politics like a grown-up, and I have my mind made up on my vote due to rational thought. I guess I'll let you back to your 'Bush is eeevillll' comic books for now."

Democrat: "Bush? BUSH? BBBUUUUUUUSSSSSSHHHHH??? He's the reason why gas is so expensive! He drinks oil, and so do his friends! We're losing the war in Iraq! He's the stupidest clown in the world! He's got two brain cells and they fight! But, he's also a diabolical, evil genious! He's supporting terrorists with his...."


Of course, the Republican has to simply walk away when he terminates the interchange. Don't get me wrong. I have friends that are very intelligent who are going to vote for the Donkey for their own reasons (as much as that makes me scratch my head), and I respect them for it. But, it seems like the internet is just chocked full of these simpletons who bomb on the GOP because it's the 'cool' thing to do. If they understand that 'Hope' means 'take away your freedom' and 'Change' means 'tax the hell out of you', then I suppose they've picked the right candidate.