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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

In Memoriam

19 firefighters killed in Arizona wildfire were part of elite Hotshot crew (link)

There’s not much more to say.

Oft times in this venue, I write about my frustration with law enforcement, straddling the line between freedom and tyranny –  and seemingly inching toward the latter.

But firefighters, be they in the city saving people, homes and property, or in the country, doing the same + our majestic forests, lands and wildlife, need to be honored.  They are not as in the Ray Bradbury story – they are not starting fires.  They are not inching toward the latter.

They need to be honored, not just when they fall, but rather, when they do not.

Please take a moment today to do that.

Another Hero Gone…

(stolen borrowed from Old NFO – because our history IS important!Guffaw)

Another Veteran is gone…
Major Thomas Griffin, a navigator on the Doolittle Raid was called home Tuesday. He passed in a VA home in northern Kentucky at age 96. At the next reunion of the surviving Doolittle Raiders in Fort Walton Beach, where they trained for the mission, they will turn Maj. Griffin’s goblet upside down, and there will be only four left upright.
Maj. Griffin parachuted to safety over China and eluded capture, eventually making it back stateside. He later flew bombing missions over North Africa until he was shot down in 1943, spending the remainder of the war in a German POW camp.
Years ago the President of Hennessy Company presented a bottle of 1896 vintage “Very Special Hennessy” cognac to General Jimmy Doolittle, in honor of his birth year and it was decided that the last two survivors would toast the fallen with it. Due to their advanced age it was decided that they would make the toast this year, before there were none left.
The private ceremony will be attended only by the surviving Raiders, the Raiders’ historian, Tom Casey, manager of the Doolittle Raiders Association, and two Air Force cadets. They will conduct a roll call of the names of all the Raiders, and when Griffin’s name is called, Lt. Col. Richard Cole, at age 97 the oldest survivor, will give a report on Griffin, announcing that he has left us.
At the end of the reading of names, the white-gloved cadets will pour the cognac into the goblets of the survivors, and they will drink their special toast: “To those who have gone.”
The final four survivors are Lt. Col. Cole of Comfort, Texas; Lt. Col. Robert Hite of Nashville, Tennessee; Lt. Col. Edward Saylor of Puyallup, Washington, and Master Sgt. David Thatcher of Missoula, Montana.
RIP Major, know that you were an example to an entire country and gave America hope!
To the Major and his memory!
hennessy
h/t JP

Neutering the BHP, Slowly…

Browning P 35I truly miss my Browning High Power.  She was one of the guns I lusted after for years, and finally obtained in 1995.  Traditionally, they were always cost a little more than a 1911, but, I made out.  I purchased her from a private party who was selling her for a neighbor’s widow.  With six factory magazines.  At one of the few times in my life I actually had spare cash.

But, she was one of the collection in the gun vault when it was stolen.  Many firearms are gone, but just a few are truly missed.

So, here it is years later, and I visit Mike’s Spot, trying to live vicariously, as he tells the tale of acquiring a Mark II Belgian HP.  Mine was older and a little fancier, but, he has his.  Okay, I was little jealous.

Until I read this part:

The gun shipped with 1 formally legal NYS standard capacity magazine. I now have a 10 round, neutered mag in the gun, that has been re-neutered (neutered harder) to 7 rounds to comply with current NY SAFE 13 legislation.

Not only is the whole point of John Browning’s design to have an ergonomic machine, but it’s designed to hold 13 in the magazine, +1 in the chamber!  And one may find aftermarket mags which hold more.

This New York law is an anathema to all of our rights, and also our esthetics.  I truly hope Mike resettles in a region of the country which still follows the Constitution.  All of us deserve better than such a law.  Or its federal counterpart.

Molly is 30, Today.

Today, my daughter is 30.  The same age I was when she was born.

By age 30, I was married, beginning my own PI business, and scared to death about the prospect of fatherhood.  Then she arrived and made it easy

Here it is 30 years hence, and by all-that-is-holy she should have been married, and had children.  She aspired to be a veterinarian.  I never had the privilege of walking her down the aisle or holding a grandbaby.  Or proudly watching her get her degree.  Or even her diploma.

She was taken from us in 1985.  In a stupid car accident.

So she’ll always be age 12 in my heart.  Or just born.

Molly & Dad

Molly & Dad

Happy Birthday, Molly!  I Love You.

Land mines in the psyche

First of all, my apologies in advance of you reading this post.  I’ve a tendency to get a little maudlin this time of year.  Missing friends; family…

My roommate (and place-to-live benefactor) and I are very close.  We’re good friends – truth be told, we used to date.  So we know much about each other including backstory, family history, skeletons.  Stuff from our past(s).

And we were fortunate enough to visit the last gun show together.  A couple of blog friends were kind enough to give me the financial means. (Thanks, again, we couldn’t have done it without you!)

But there are land mines in the psyche.  Stuff I’ve forgotten about and don’t expect.  Buried deep.  You see, I used to take my daughter to the gun shows.  We used to visit antique malls, as well, and sometimes little antique-y things are displayed at gun shows.  There were a few at this one.

When my daughter was small, and she’d see a cameo, she’d remark, “There’s that lady, again.”  Hearing that always brought a smile to my face.

And, of course, I shared her expression long ago with my roommate.  Part of the tales from the past people getting to know one-another pass along.  And I always hear Molly’s voice in my head when I see that kind of jewelry.

So, here we are at the gun show, taking it all in, and up comes an antique jewelry display.  Not exactly why I visit guns shows.  So, I’m getting ready to gloss over it, when my roommate says softly, reverently,

There’s that lady, again.

And I cried.cameo

How Sad

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about blogging is finding out persons from all over The United States, in fact, The World have clicked on a posting or a Google/Bing response and found their way here.  I’ve stated many times before that I’m continually amazed anyone stops by – so anyone doing so makes me happy.  Or used to.

I monitor the (meaningless) statistics about the blog – Where are readers located?  How many?  Total views for a 24 hour period.  Then I compare that to what posts I did that given day in an effort to find more titles/subjects appealing to more readers.  It really doesn’t affect my titles or content.  I’m compulsive.  It’s not as if I make any money doing this!

But, the other day, I quickly inserted a blog post blurb regarding the horrific tragedy in Connecticut, as the reports were coming in.  Just the name of the town, Newtown Connecticut was the title.

And I was deeply saddened to see 333 search views in 24 hours!  My average is 163 over the previous 28 days!

Are people so ghoulish that this is what drives them?  Even worse is so-called ‘news’ organizations are so thirsty to ‘get the story first’ they report anything without verifying facts or sources!

It used to be there was a twenty-four hour news cycle, many times longer.  Now it’s minutes; seconds.  No time to verify anything, just get ‘it’ out there!  If it’s wrong, we’ll submit a correction – or not.

And the people who just can’t wait to hear about the latest exploits of Lindsay Lohan or Honey Boo-Boo are waiting like vultures to lap it up.  Or search for it on the Internet.

How sad.

Democracies don’t always win. Tyrannies don’t always lose.

My friend Rev. Paul of Way Up North posted a remarkable post entitled Hatred, Intolerance and Obsession.

You should stop reading whatever it is you’re reading, including this blog, go to the link above, and read the post.

Please.

NOW.

I’m not even posting snippets of it to ward you off and keep you here.  Except this:

“HE’S COMING.”

There ought to be ANOTHER law – NOT!

As completely expected, after the theater shooting tragedy, there has been a call from some circles (The Brady Bunch, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Gun Ownership and others, for yet more gun control.

This is not surprising, even when the political element is removed from the outcry.  People question why, and want something done to keep this from happening in the future.  It should never happen to anyone.  But, generally I don’t appeal to the government to solve problems.  They’re inefficient and incompetent.  And usually have a different agenda.

I guess I’m disconnected from this kind of thinking.  There ought to be a law is not something in my normal reaction lexicon.  I’m a libertarian, small ‘L’.  I was, even before I knew there was such a word.  I’ve an extreme aversion to the word ‘ban’.  Even if it is regarding something for which I lack fondness.  Drug abuse comes to mind.

Hey, it’s your body (they tell us).

If you want to believe ‘X’, go ahead, feel free.  Go for it.  As long as ‘X’ doesn’t interfere with MY RIGHTS.  Or anyone else’s.

If you don’t like guns, don’t own one.  But telling others they shouldn’t be able to exercise their rights in this matter is repugnant.  And against the American tradition.

Regular readers of this blog know I lost my daughter in an automobile accident in 1995.  She was 12.  We were t-boned at a major intersection by a guy driving a GM car in excess of 70 miles per hour, who ran the light.

After I got out of the hospital, I didn’t immediately call for the banning of drivers, owners of GM cars or even GM cars.  The guy was speeding to get to work, and didn’t do it intentionally, but even if he had been some nutjob trying to hit us on purpose, it would have made no sense to ban GM cars.  Or any cars.

Millions of people in the United States legally own and use firearms, and keep them for self-protection, sport, hunting, and the enjoyment of ownership of a fine tool.  They don’t go shooting up theaters or committing heinous acts with them.

It’s irrational and illogical to demand more control of the law-abiding citizenry.  Let’s try holding criminals responsible for their acts, instead.

Resistance Is Futile

Borepatch recently posted about how a student ‘got in trouble’ for correcting a public school teacher in class.

It’s sad that the teacher – and, by extension, the administration – are so short-sighted that admitting they were wrong and finding of fact is not the message.

Towing the line and shutting up is.

“…accepting my teaching without resistance.”

Preparing the children for the future.  They don’t need re-education camps, they already have them.
(and this was in 1994!)

h/t Borepatch

"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.

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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

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“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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