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being human

This category contains 22 posts

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

Yeah, it’s a song title, above.

Sometimes, I get down on myself, because I once had a wife, a daughter, a home, a ‘career’.

And now?

No wife, no daughter, no ‘career’ (I’m disabled).  I DO have share a home, though.

And that’s my point.

Living Freedom recently had a posting entitled

Poverty vs poverty: Seven traits of the successful poor

It mentioned traits of folks down-on-their-luck who, if they are not thriving, do more than just survive.

I could have been worse off than I am.  I lost my home as my income decreased, and a good friend took me in.

But, that’s not my point.

MY POINT IS I’M GRATEFUL FOR HER HAVING DONE SO!

Certainly, I wish things could be different.  It would be nice to have a wife, to have my daughter back.  To have my house back.  To have the income I once had.

But, not being a child, I know wishing doesn’t make it so.

So (most days) I choose GRATITUDE!

“What A SQUARE!”

When I was growing up, I wanted to join The Boy Scouts.  They seemed cool, but, I was too young.  There was The Cub Scouts, though!  And one could evolve into a Boy Scout from there.  I convinced my parents I should join.

I think I was in the Fourth Grade.  I became a Bobcat, a newbie.  My parents never even sprung for a full uniform, just the shirt, bandana and cap.  And I had to walk about a mile to my den mother’s house on meeting days.  At least I got to hang with other boys my age, and we sometimes did cool stuff.

But, soon, my den mother moved away, and no provision had been made for us to transfer to another den.  By default, I left.  No Boy Scouts for me!

But one of my fondest memories of The Cub Scouts was the Scout Oath.  Not the solemnity or the promise.  The language.

Maynard

Maynard

In the early 60’s, the counterculture wasn’t yet tipified by the hippie.  It was the beatnik that brought societal scorn.  As typified by the character Maynard G. Krebs on The Dobie Gillis Show.  (the G stood for Walter, it was silent!)

When something was mainstream, whitebread, uncool, the beatnik said it was SQUARE.

And The Cub Scout Oath (of that era) was:

I, _________, promise to do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
To be square, and
To obey the Law of the Pack.

Now, sometime after 1964, the changed the oath to read to help other people, instead of to be square.

I wonder if that was because every boy jack of us said the oath as follows:

…To be a square…

Not really comprehending what being square meant.

Being on an extremely limited disability income, I sometimes (often) find myself in a financially uncomfortable situation.  Often a week or more before my stipend is due to arrive.  I wish I could say it was because of extravagance, but more often than not it’s because of a math error.

Fortunately, I am sometimes assisted by my friends.  I am most blessed.

And yes, today, I AM SQUARE.

I AM ALSO A SQUARE!  I need one of these!

beatnik

ANOTHER Country Heard From!

(one of my Dad’s expressions, usually when another – unwanted – opinion was proffered)

My roommate is an animal lover.   As am I.  The difference being I usually consider ramifications of finances, interaction with other animals, available space and other factors before introducing another animal into the menagerie.

AND, I’d ask her opinion.

So, day-before-yesterday, she advised she’d an errand to run.  I did as well.  Separately.  Imagine my surprise when she texted me a photo of a tiny kitten!

Now, I love cats, perhaps even more than dogs, because they are less maintenance and aren’t codependent, as dogs are.

The end result is another rescue (Lola-the-chee-hooa-hooa was rescued a little over six months ago)

She is 2 1/2 months old, very pretty, and stands up to the other dogs and the big cat with the best of them.

How could I say no?

20140718_173840(attn Murphy’s Law – her name is BELLE, and she likes salsa!)

Boy, am I a sucker!  :-)

Truth, Justice And The American Way

A few years back Superman (2011 in DC Comics) announced he was renouncing his U.S. citizenship!  Now, I’ve not been a comic book reader/consumer since I was 10-11 years old, but I was always a big Superman fan.

I found this action repulsive.  One – that the beloved character would do such a thing, and Two – that in so doing such a children’s fictional comic would make the national news.  After all, they ARE just comic books.

Fast-forward to NOW.  It was announced a couple of months ago (and made the national news again recently) that beloved perennially-in-high-school everyteen comic book character Archie Andrews would die in the comic book.  This was NOT due to his having been in high school 78 years.

It was because he would dive in front of an assailant attacking his friend with a gun, and his taking a bullet for him!  Archie’s GAY friend!

What do I make of this?

Political correctness aside, I like to believe I would have done the same thing for any good childhood friend.  My best friend from third grade through college was a legitimately brilliant.  IQ off the charts.  Socially, less skilled.  But, except for his studies and church, my constant companion.  He was the geek I aspired to be, even though I didn’t have the mental acuity.

After his own father disowned him when he came out of the closet as a college freshman, and my own father lampooned his gayness, I had to stand up for Carl.  Fortunately, no one shot him.  And I, myself, had to overcome childhood indoctrination regarding gayness, and what that means.  After all, sexual preference aside, he remained my friend!

I’m not yet certain how I feel about comic books being tools for political correctness.  Of course, even Peanuts eventually had a Black character.  I suppose comic books must change with the times, as well.  I don’t know how the Archie friend’s character’s gayness is shown to the comic book audience.  Obviously kids are more aware of such things than I was 50-60 years ago.

But, I know one thing.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  –  John 15:13 (ASV)

If we can teach this to the self-absorbed-faces-glued-to-their-cell-phone adolescents, then all is not lost.   If only adults read comic books.

archie

Special State-Sponsored Permission!

Various law enforcement agencies and military units  have memorials to those that have fallen in service to their country.

If we ever build such a memorial to concealed carriers who put their lives at risk to save others, the name of Joseph Robert Wilcox, 31, of Las Vegas deserves to be on that wall.

Wilcox was killed yesterday (June 8) attempting to take down the deranged couple that had just  murdered Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo at a nearby Cici’s Pizza location.  Wilcox apparently spotted the husband as he rushed into Walmart, and tried to take him down.

ap

So what??
Most CCW courses are basic safety classes, I’ve seen many I wonder if safety is even taught that well.

Please do not fool yourself into thinking you are trained to fight just because the state issued you a license

When the rubber meets the road, a lot can be going on, and basic training may not save you, I don’t know how much training Mr Wilcox had, , and he may have changed the course of the event, but he lost.  (Maddened Fowl)

Not to cast aspersions toward Mr. Wilcox, but most of us are armchair adventurers at best.  I’ve been in IPSC competitions wherein civilians cleaned the clocks of sworn officers, but these were pretend, not real life.  And I’ve observed many officers whose firearms safety regime was trumped by their huge egos.  And they paid for it.

Most of us are not sworn officers or spec ops guys home on leave from Afghanistan.  We are regular Joes (and Janes) going about our mundane daily lives, but we do so armed.  And many of us have received a permission slip from our respective States to carry our tools concealed as we go about our business.

The concealed weapon permit is akin the driver license.  It doesn’t mean that we are automatically Mario Andretti upon our receipt of it.  Keep training, keep learning, keep maintaining and most importantly, keep paying attention to your surroundings.

We, as civilians, have no obligation to rush in like John McClane (Die Hard films) in the movies and save everyone.  And most of us don’t have the skills.

Know yourself, too!

h/t Bob Owens, The Duck

Love Potion (Hoppe’s) #9

hoppesI don’t have much occasion to clean firearms, anymore.

Why?  I don’t get to shoot very much.

I noticed after my last outing that I was low completely out of my mainstay solvent, Hoppe’s #9!

I went to a nearby firearms emporium to get some.  They not only didn’t have any, they said they didn’t even stock it!

So I had to settle for some Remington-branded ‘green’ gun cleaner.

It seemed to work okay, but it didn’t have the olfactory thrill (toxicity) of the Hoppes.

Scientists tell us that the sense-of-smell is deeply ingrained in our psyche.  Food tastes better, uh personal interactions are better, when the nose is working properly.  Memories are triggered.

I’d drive to a farther gun shop, but my car is failing…

I really miss the smell of Hoppe’s!  It can be ordered on line, but the interstate chemical transport fees are huge!  So much for THAT idea!

Of course, there was that waitress who smelled of Ivory Soap….

(Sorry, another memory triggered!)

FTC – Hoppe’s and Remington gave me nothing!  Go clean your own guns and find your own waitresses!

 

h/t New Jovian Thunderbolt

APHORISMS

The Art of Manliness (my go-to place for classic wisdom on the Web) recent posted 20 aphorisms, abhored (or ignored) in youth, but appreciated as I got older.  (Sometimes)

An aphorism is a short, pithy statement that conveys a principle or contains a pearl of wisdom. Part of what makes them so powerful is that they can stand on their own without context; as the philologist Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel put it, “An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog.”

Indeed!

Here is one.  CLICK on it to link to the remaining 19.

be kindI always thought it should end in rewind.  Obviously, I’m old.

How Principled (Hungry) ARE You?

Keads wrote on FB regarding a potential student, whose wife did not want a gun in the house, wanting his tutelege.  The prospective student thought one hour of training might suffice!

I was reminded both of potential shooting students, and of private investigation clients.

I had shooting students who didn’t think their spouse would let them purchase a firearm.  And those who already had a number of them, and also bad habits that needed unravelling.  Many of my students were gratis, as I  felt it was my duty to teach (and, at the time I could afford to do it that way!)

But, when I was a private investigator (cue walking bass music here) I was trying to eke out a living, and as such was not always as discriminatory as I would have liked.  When the phone bill’s due, and you promised the wife the PI biz would float on it’s own, you took whatever came your way.

Ah, there’s the rub!

Fortunately, Keads had other information come his way.  Like the potential student thought ONE HOUR of instruction would be sufficient to complete his training – thus his decision was made for him.  Sorry, Charlie! (I suspect there’s a liability component here, as well.)

Sadly, when it came to P.I. clients, I pretty much was a slave to the almighty dollar.  Was I an expert in electronic debugging?  No, but I was able to borrow the equipment and comport myself well enough to make a few dollars – carefully explaining I was only as good as the equipment was.

Fortunately, that wasn’t my P.I. bread-and-butter.  Those were locating persons (usually skip-traces) and domestic cases.  At least locations were for insurance adjusters, which meant repeat business.  Domestics?  Hardly.  Cheated on wives and girlfriends are tough to get money from.

I would think shooting students who messed up would have a liability component, as well!

Watch your back, Jack (or Jane)!

Which Literary Genre Would Best Represent Your Views?

Which LITERARY GENRE would best represents your views?

Click on the images for the Quiz!

Take the quiz!

Guffaw’s is Western. (92%)

You Scored as Western.  Westerns are stories about living on the frontiers of North America, Australia, or Asia. They tend to be about history, nation, and individual achievement. Examples include the Last of the Mohicans.h/t Never yet Melted

Friends – Current, Former and Distant

American Mercenary recent wrote regarding the loss of a formerly close Internet friend, or two.

As I’ve been musing about the subject of ‘friends’  he got my attention.

It seems I thought for some time that if one has a friend, one has that friend for life.  The concept of ‘unfriending’ someone with whom you have a disagreement seemed a foreign concept.  I held my friends close.

In my mind.

But, I was wrong in my belief.  I needed to hold my friends, not in my mind, but in my heart.

Over the years, I’ve lost many friends, usually through attrition.  Someone moves into a different social circle, or geographic region.  Or changes jobs.  And the contacts are broken.  Stuff happens.

But it’s only been in recent years that I’ve begun to recognize my actions have taken their toll.  Taking advantage, contacting them only when it was advantageous to me.  Not holding up my half of the friendship. Not being a friend.

Essentially, being an a$$40le!

And this has cost me, dearly.  At least three close friends in the past 15 years.  And, this doesn’t even include the other losses.  Like Mark Bell, who passed away suddenly.  Or special friends – lovers.

I’ve atoned for my sins, but that’s not enough.  I need to continue to be a friend to my friends.  Lest I lose any more.

If you read this blog, you know I always ask you to tell your children and loved ones how you feel.  Include your friends.  Because you never know.

Learn from my errors – cherish your friends, now.

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

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