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I’m BACK!

Thanks to the extreme capabilities and generosity of my Roommate, who not only found an old laptop for me, but, spend many hours rebooting/reconfiguring the router so we could again enjoy the wonders of the Internet!

There IS a learning curve, as this is a Windows 8 machine, and none of my blog prep files have yet found there way here, but, I AM BACK!

Thank you for your patience.

Guffaw

Barkley, R.I.P.

If you’ve read my blog at all, your probably know about my blogmothers.  One of them is the lovely and brilliant Brigid, who has shared on her blog many times her adventures with her black Labrador, Barkley.

Barkley stareSadly, he passed earlier Tuesday.

If you’ve not done so already, please visit Home On The Range and post your condolences.  Losing a pet is so very sad.

I think it was George Carlin who said something to the effect that getting a pet is sad, because we know the inevitable outcome.

What he didn’t say was, it’s always worth it.

Even those of us who never got to scratch you in person will miss you, my friend

Remembering…

It was two years ago today…

Time flies (and all that)

I miss you, brother.

markabell2

Mark Bell – click to remember

Take time today to hold those you love close, and tell them you love them!  Because you never know…

Auld Lang Syne

Tonight is New Year’s Eve!  (for those who just crawled out from under a rock where there was no Wi-Fi.)

The traditional celebration of the passing of the previous year, and the birth of the new.  Along with fond remembrance of times past.  This usually involves food and sometimes libations.

Please be careful out there, and if you drink, don’t drive (or text or phone!)  And watch out for those who have.

And take a moment to remember those who are no longer with you.  And love those who remain.

Because you never know…

“Driving Mr. Guffaw” (an after-action report)

SO…

After three previous abortive attempts, Bob and I made it to the desert, yesterday.  It was unseasonably warm (81*- sorry Rev. Paul and Gloria!).  There was enough breeze to keep the sand flies at bay, but not enough to knock over targets.

That was in part because Bob brought his recently acquired steel targets!  That 3″  wide roll of masking tape in my range bag was unnecessary!

IMAG0182

And the best part of the trip (as my car – the 2000 Olds Intrigue – is not running very well), Bob took it upon himself to pick me up, drive us to the shooting location, then lunch, then back home.  Just one trip one direction was at least an hour, mostly freeway!   :-P

I, of course, shot my National Match 1911 and S&W 442 (electroless nickel).  Bob shot his Glock 19, 21, and his 10″ bbl SIG 556 SBR!  Both with and w/o the can!  (He let me shoot them, as well!)

Then, we went up the road to Rock Ridge* Springs – a famous desert freeway pit stop – for lunch and homemade pie!  All-in-all a good day…

EXCEPT, due to my not shooting very often, my skills have deteriorated.  I sense more dry practice in my future.

*a Blazing Saddles reference.  I always wanna call Rock Springs Rock Ridge!

attn FTC – we bought our own pie.  Get your own!

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.

Sorry, Jim!

I’ve a good, long-time friend named Jim.  We met in 1960!

Jim is a former Marine, and has worked for the federal government for years.  He is a good man, even though we differ politically and philosophically on many levels.

Jim LOVES trains.  Especially train history and actually traveling in them.  My father, who had worked on the railroad for a time (like his father before him) left me a gold-filled pocket watch, with a fob and locker key.  The key was to his locker in Grand Central Station, NY!

Jim loves trains so much that for his 50th birthday, I gave him my father’s watch, fob and key.  I knew he would appreciate it much more than me.

When we were in high school, Jim joined the National Association of Railroad Passengers.  Got me to join, too.  And Jim, his younger brother John and I took an overnight train trip from Flagstaff to L.A., and back (after spending a day @ Disneyland.)

Amtrak, the U.S. taxpayer-supported passenger railroad, is losing tens of millions of dollars a year on food and beverage service even after years of cost cutting, its inspector general said.

Amtrak’s Auto Train from Virginia to Florida offers passengers complimentary wine and cheese, and three long-distance routes provide complimentary wine and champagne to sleeper-car passengers, Alves said, costing Amtrak $428,000 in 2012.

“The Amtrak Inspector General has confirmed that Amtrak cooked the books to cover up food service losses that now approach $1 billion,” [John] Mica [R-Florida, chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee - DB] said.

The government running goods and services just isn’t healthy for the economy!  (BTW – my ‘membership’ in the NARP only lasted one year.  My heart wasn’t in it.)

Sorry Jim!  And that government-run postal service for whom you work isn’t a bastion of efficiency and profit, either!  Maybe they should increase the cost of their ad deliveries and get into the 21st Century offering Email and computer message services?

Just a suggestion.

(Hattip: Virginia Postrel, by way of the Popehat Twitter.)  Whipped Cream Difficulties

How Do You Handle A Hungry DOG?

The DOG Wrangler!

J (my roomie and landlady) left Friday afternoon for TUC son (correct pronounciation too SAHN’) to spend Labor Day weekend with her daughter.

I was left behind with the menagerie – three chihuahuas and one cat.  Therefore, I’m The Dog Wrangler!

One neurotic female shorthair – who loves attention, one male kinda-longhair – who’s fat, dumb and happy (aka the hairy meat tube) and the old lady dog.  She’s 19 1/2 and still kicking!  And very sweet.  Even without teeth or much hearing and eyesight!

AND, the cat.  A Maine Coon offshoot with psychotic tendencies…

Seriously, they are fun, quirky and downright hysterical!  Fortunately we all get along, although they do miss their (DOG) Mom!

It’s been a fun weekend!

The Slings, Arrows and Sore Butt and Legs

…of outrageous fortune!

Well, the last two, at least, I’ve been suffering.

IMAG0073My economy desk drafting chair, from which I write/steal this daily drivel, broke a few months ago.  Because of my leg disability, I need to sit taller.  Most available standard desk chairs go as tall as 28 inches; some 30!  and lower down to 16 or 18.  Not exactly what I require.  If I sit on the floor I might not be able to get up.

SO. I’ve been perching on a low bent wood chair of my roommate’s.  Nice furniture, but not designed with a crippled, fat person in mind.  Did I say it is LOW?  And hard, even with a pillow.

I mentioned my predicament to a good friend only over the Internet.  They promptly sent me PayPal funds specifically earmarked for a new chair!  Without my asking.  I’m blessed.

IMAG0074Then came the nightmare that is Amazon Prime and UPS, in concert to make me wait, then miss the delivery.  I commented to another friend, “Technology is great!  But, then we expect it, and when it fails, we whine,”  Well, I do, anyway.

But, no longer, I’ve a new, taller chair (thanks to my benefactor) and can return the old one to my roommate. Relatively undamaged.

All’s right with the World.  At least my butt thinks so.

Please Keep ANOTHER Good Thought!

Larryor a prayer, if you do so.

My stepsister’s husband, a retired Army LTC, ‘Larry’,mentioned before in these pages, has finally returned to Fairbanks, AK.(their home) after six months of care at Seatac for kidney and heart ailments!

He will be in rehab there at another facility for probably six weeks, minimum. He’s lost much muscle mass, and is currently using a wheelchair.  He is mentally alert, giving orders to his adult son about prepping his home for the oncoming Alaska Winter.  Hopefully, he will walk, yet again.

He did multiple tours in Vietnam in his youth and deserves our very best.  In his retirement, he has been working for the American Red Cross.  Definitely not one to rest on his laurels!

PS – THANK YOU Jason, for checking in on him!  You’re the BEST.

"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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All original content on this web site is copyright (c) on date of publication by this author. All rights reserved, except that others may quote from the original content under the 'Fair Use' provisions of U.S. copyright law.

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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.

In Loving Memory…

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