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…and then, they died of an overdose…

My good friend Old NFO discussed this most recent of ‘infamous’ drug deaths.  I was reminded of the PBS Series on JAZZ.  They’d mention some historic jazz figure, and then, more often than not came this line:

…and then, they died of an overdose…

So sad.

Is it the artistic personality, fame, fortune or humanity which binds all these folks together?  Are we all, at our core, addicts of some sort?  (Wikipedia – List of Drug/Alcohol related deaths)

I come rife with an addictive personality.  I have excess weight, due to compulsive overeating.  I’m neurotic, but not particularly artistic.  My real mother died when I was in grade school as a direct result of her cigarette addiction.  She had emphysema. ( I remember her turning off the oxygen tank and lighting up!)  My father was an alcoholic, ate too much and smoked cigars.  I come by my addictions honestly.  Even though I’m getting ‘help’ for my addictions, in all seriousness, I don’t expect to see 85, like my maternal grandfather did.  My fraternal grandfather made it to 68.  My own father to 61.

I’m 61.

Today is my daughter’s birthday.  She would have been 31.  Auto accident, age 12.

At least it wasn’t drugs or alcohol.  :-(

I love and miss you Molly!Molly birthday1

“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!

The Libertine Party

I’m a pretty liberal guy.  In the classical sense, not the liberal = progressive = socialist = communist sense.  As a libertarian, I think adults should be able to make their own lives; their own decisions…

As long as doing so doesn’t affect others, negatively.

You wanna smoke weed?  In your own home?  As long as it doesn’t waft into my back yard, it’s okay with me. You want to marry three other adults?  Change your State law and have at it.  Just remember how complex (and costly) the divorcing of two of them will be!

But, I draw the line at abusing children.  Yes, you should be able to raise your children as you see fit, and perhaps one or two smacks on the bottom to get their attention might be necessary.  When they are four.  But, not when they’re 18, or nude, or with the use of a studded belt.  That’s beyond the pale, for me.

Speaking of abusing children:

Child Trauma Expert: Pro-Pedophilia Groups Are ‘Grooming’ Public to Accept Adult-Child Sex

NO.

PS – Why does NAMBLA still exist?  The North American Man Boy Love Association promotes sexually abusing children.  Why hasn’t your government used RICO to shut them down and absorb their funds? And imprison the miscreants.  Certainly a continuing criminal enterprise?

Sometimes, The Runner Stumbles

(NO, not the underrated Stanley Kramer film with Dick Van Dyke in a non-comedic role!)

I should have said, “Sometimes, the cripple falls – and food is less than perfect!”

A few days ago, J. left for California to assist her older sister who had just lost her husband.  This left me again in the role of Dog Wrangler, and caretaker of the homestead.  I’m okay with that.

Now, I’m a pretty self-sufficient guy, considering I’m on minimal disability and have some physical ‘issues’. Long time readers remember ‘Ed’, aka the really big shoe, which helps me to walk, unquasimodo-like (?)

Most of the time.  Once in a great while, it doesn’t.  Thursday, I just came in the front door when my right ankle turned and my 3 1/8″ built-up shoe went sideways.  And I went down.

pyramidNow, normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, as my roommate would be there to assist.  But, she’s assisting her sister in California.  and the three amigos (chihuahuas) don’t have the muscles or skills to block-and tackle me back to vertical.  It would be like mice building the pyramids!

So, it took a bit for me to get up.  Inventory bones and joints to make certain nothing is sprained or broken – CHECK!  Pull myself over to the stair landing (next-to which I’d conveniently fallen) to get a purchase, and VIOLA’!

Some bruising and minor abrasions, muscle pain, and EVERYTHING hurt.  More than usual.

Thank the gods for ibuprofen!  And a short nap.  After all, walking in the door takes great effort.  So much for the plans I had to vacuum and dust on Thursday!  (Hooray!)

About an hour later, I awakened to a telephone call from a good friend in Chicago.  This reminded me of yet another task I had on my list.  PORTILLOS recently opened just a few miles away!

For the uninitiated, Portillos is a famous Chicago Hot Dog chain.  Visions of Chicago beef, hot dogs and Polish sausages went through my addled brain.  I’d not had a good red hot in some months!  Hmmm…..

SO, bent, but unbroken, I made my way to the car, and found out some additional muscles used for ingress and egress of said vehicle were also involved in my fall.  Ouch!  Nothing serious, though.  And off to Portillos!

What a place!.  Think Arnold’s from TV’s Happy Days on steroids.  Clean, well organized, busy.  At 2:00 in the afternoon!  Glad I didn’t come for dinner on a Saturday!

Quick, efficient service.  Good looking food.  BUT lukewarm.

It was still tasty, but would have been 75% better in my estimation had the Polish been steaming hot and fries as well.  And if the poppy-seeded bun didn’t look as it I’d fallen on it!  The malt was excellent, chocolaty and malty.  And cold.  At least they were consistent, temperature-wise!

I do plan on going back, to try the onion rings, and maybe the Italian beef.  But Yelp will get my opinion, one way or another.

Perhaps I’ll clean house Friday (having written the draft Thursday)…

PS – It’s Sunday, still haven’t cleaned!  :-)

FTC – get your own Chi-town food.  I paid for mine.

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.

You’ll Never Be A Ninja!

no ninjas“You’ll never be a ninja!”

I used to announce this, dripping with irony and humor, at my former workplace, usually to the women whose fashion choices included clogs, sandals, and stiletto heels.  All of which I thought were designed to make the loudest and most annoying sounds possible.  Repetitively.

(Unless you count the folks who sit at their desk, and unwrap their (snacks, lunch, spare socks, etc.) contained in those plastic grocery bags!  It would take them five minutes of incessant rustling just to extricate the object. Then another five to roll close the $%^*&^^$#% bag!)

Initially, we were required to wear dress shoes, but eventually, the East Coast management figured out we were largely more casual here in Arizona, and kept making up pointless contests wherein we peons could ‘win’ the privilege of dressing ‘casually’.  We went from white shirts, ties and dress Oxfords, to chinos, polo shirts and athletic shoes.  And sometimes even blue jeans!

But the women continued to largely wear noisy footwear.

When I was in my 20s, even with my physical limitations, I thought I could be pretty stealthy.  Two years of karate and all.  And I lived in athletic shoes.  Quietly.

Now, being medically retired, I live in Wranglers, colored T-shirts, and my orthopaedic shoes.  One built up to accommodate my leg disability.  And, as I put more weight on the opposite foot, that shoe tends to wear out sooner.

And now is making squeaking noises.

I’ll never be a ninja.

Karma is a bitch!

A PAPERLESS Society?

When I worked at my last job, we did many things on a computer terminal.  I was there over 20 years, and saw many changes.  Of course, as the technology evolved, so did our machines – usually about 4 years after everyone else did.

They kept harping about A PAPERLESS SOCIETY, but kept us using paper and printing on it.  More electronically, but, eventually paper was involved.

Now, my roomie prefers the really soft, cushy roll of paper.  You know the kind – advertised by cartoon bears in the woods.  Sadly, roll it about two-times-over and one is down to the cardboard tube.  Time to change the roll.

tpI prefer the 1000 sheet-single-ply.  If they could, they’d rate it with a sandpaper grit number.  More sheets; don’t have to change the roll as frequently.

My experience is the female-of-the-species prefers as my roomie does.  Better soft than abrasive.

This has evolved into two roll dispensers in the main bathroom, his and hers.  And ‘roll follies’ when one roll is needed upstairs, but the reloads are downstairs.  But, all-in-all, we work it out.

As we humans know, unless one is in a less-civilized part of the World, eventually, paper is involved.

Christmas Gift Idea!

For that little glow-in-the-dark child in all of us…

 Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab

Only available from 1951-1952, this science kit for CHILDREN included 4 types of uranium ore, a Geiger counter, a comic called “Dagwood Spits The Atom” and a coupon for ordering MORE radioactive materials. One of the four uranium ores included was Po-210 (Polonium) which, by mass, is 250,000 times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide. “Merry Christmas Kevin, here’s that giant box of poison you asked for.”
This gem came my way via my roomie’s ex-husband, who is currently fighting a cancerous tumor in his sinuses.  Please keep a good thought, or pray for him, if that’s what you do.  And yes, his name is…wait for it…DAVE!

GUN SHOW, the After Action Report

(as promised to my benefactors! – thanks, again!)

Buoyed financially by a number of Internet friends, my roommate and I were able to attend opening day of the big Crossroads of the West Gun Show, yesterday!

The show opened yesterday @ 1100, and went until 1700.  Today it goes 0900-1700, Sunday 0900-1600 at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.  Parking is $7.00; admission $16.00 per person.

As previously recounted in these pages, I missed attending the past few years due to health issues.  We did try last year, but these health issues got the better of both of us, and we only saw about 10% of the show.  I’d not been in the three years previous.

This year we saw over 50% of the show!!  (Progress, not perfection. Sigh.)

Part of the problem is it’s all walking and standing.  My roommate also has health issues which limit her participation in such things.  But she’s a crack shot with her Nighthawk, so I don’t complain!  :-P   And we took many breaks to sit and re-hydrate, and get off our feet.

For those familiar with the venue, we had to park North of the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, then walk South to the exhibit buildings, along the South and West borders of the fairgrounds.  (several hundred yards?)  I think it totaled seven fair exhibit buildings, plus the asphalt between them with four (not the traditional two) tarpaulined venues with even more tables!

While it’s known as the ‘big’ gun show of the year, it didn’t seem quite as populated as some of the big shows in the past.  Still crowded though – I suspect today and tomorrow will mimic sardine cans.  There seemed to be more military customers about, and while the number of women increases every show, there were perhaps fewer yesterday than I remember seeing in the past.  Fewer rotund gentlemen in overalls, though!   (Not me, I wasn’t wearing overalls!)  But quite a few men with long established beards – ZZ TOP clones abounded.

It’s been said of art, I don’t know it, but I know what I like.  Not having an interest in Japanese militaria (for example), Arisaka rifles don’t interest me.  Samurai swords do, so they get more of my attention than the Arisakas.  A table with all manner of WWII items might draw my interest – but I shun tables displaying just Third Reich crap.  Doing my part in the free market to not support such folk.

If you like combat Tupperware, this is your show.  All manner of polymer-framed pistols and stocked rifles, and all their accessories could be had!  Many plastic AR-15 magazines, even though the Marines just announced they were no longer approving anything but metallic magazines for their rifles.  Perhaps that’s why they were for sale?

And every time I passed the ammo case displays, there were long lines, and persons with dollies and hand trucks.  I hope this portends just being prudential?  In this vein, very little out-and-out anti-administration stuff.  Some bumper stickers, a poster, a few t-shirts.  Nothing advocating anything but free speech that I noticed.  I guess if you want hate speech (whatever THAT is) go to an SEIU event!

There seemed to be more Mare’s Leg carbines for sale than I’ve seen in previous shows.  Both the cheap foreign knock-offs and quality American-made brass receiver/octagonal barrel types!  Perhaps it’s the Firefly meme – or this guy:  mares leg

And, as a pleasant surprise, for some inexplicable reason, a plethora of Baby Brownings!  Some new-in-box (with requisite prices), some with factory engraving (below) and Browning (TM) gun rugs, and one seriously under priced ($175!!).  It appeared to be a private sale with the port side blemished from years of sitting in someone’s nightstand or sock drawer!baby browning

Of course, while I had funds for parking, admission and food, I had none to spare for acquisition of any firearms.  This was simply nose-up-against-the-glass window shopping for us!

And while we couldn’t see everything, we did enjoy ourselves thoroughly!

Hey, there’s always next year?

(We did miss seeing Mark Bell, though, as we did last year… :-(  )

Attn FTC – look elsewhere.  I paid for my own admission and parking (and that of my roommate, who drove – thank you!) via the kindness of friends, and received nothing gratis @ the gun show.  No samurai swords, no plastic guns, no mare’s legs, no baby Brownings – dammit!

Some gotta win, some gotta lose…

Guffaw’s got the blues…

I try not to let the state of the World the Nation my life get to me.  I try not to be self-centered.  I do realize that there’s very little I can do regarding the state of either the World or the Nation.  I’ve let my opinions be known, and I voted.  I’ve spoken out on this blog.  In many places on the globe these things are not allowed, and subject to sever penalties.

But, I can do something about my attitude!  I’m approaching a landmark anniversary in my life (if you reckon in Base 10); I’ve no partner to share it with; no money – on disability (which is both a description of lack of funds and physical ability).

I’ve a number of chronic conditions, and seem to acquire more every day.  I owe medical bills.

I drive a 13 year old car, when I can afford gasoline.

And last Summer, because my disability income is 60% lower than my previous meager income,  I lost my home.  (“We lived in a hallway!”  “We dreamed of living in a hallway-we lived in a cardboard box!” – Monty Python)  Fortunately, a good friend offered me a place to stay.

Two weeks ago, my sister had a minor stroke.  (If there is such a thing).  She’s back to work, and coping, but it does get one’s attention.

But all is not lost.

Re: this upcoming calendar mark – My new neighbor and EX-wife (and friend) contacted me, and asked if she could put a little celebration together in my honor!

HOLY SHNIKIES!!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “If you have friends, you have everything!”  You know, like the end of that Christmas movie…

Time to remove my head from it’s regular inverted resting place and get moving.

Thanks for listening.

"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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