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Refinding Music And Tech

I’ve always been behind the times in both music and technology to deliver said music.  Especially since I got married in my late twenties and had a family and a job, with all the requisite trials and tribulations therein.

I had (and still have) vinyl, went to cassettes, then CDs.  I bought an MP3 player in the early 2000s.  But never had the money to fill it.

Life.  It’s both a cereal and a board game.  And my listening to music got somehow waylaid.  😦

But, I’m here alone in my rented room, doing my morning routine with the blog.  And something was missing.

I tried Pandora for a while, but it never hooked me.

J. told me recently about Spotify.  So, I thought I’d give it a try.  On both my PC and my new cell phone!  (NOW with earbuds that actually fit!)

Maybe I’ve missed ‘my’ music too much, but now I’m immersed in it via Spotify.  Free, with a few commercials every so often.  Or, one can pay.

Of course, I’ve no funds.

So, FREE it is!

Currently, I’ve been vacillating between Dave Brubeck, Gordon Lightfoot, and the Person of Interest soundtrack.

Yeah, I’m eclectic!

😛

(FTC – Spotify gave me nothing save the free music they give everyone!  go away!)

 

In An 8-0 Decision…

(from Fox News)

The United States Supreme Court…

In win for Asian-American rock band the Slants, and possible boost for the Washington Redskins, Supreme Court rules that the government can’t refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive.

More on this: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/19/supreme-court-rules-trademark-law-banning-offensive-names-is-unconstitutional.html

AGAIN, free speech is not about that with which we agree!

(Just when you thought the Supreme Court was worthless…)

NRA Disallows 1911s As “Primary Handguns” From Its “Carry Guard” Classes

(from TFB – James Jarrett)

Released to quite a bit of controversy at the NRA show, the NRA’s Carry Guard program is again the focus of controversy. As listed on the NRA’s Carry Guard website, instructions for prospective students of their “Level 1” program are specifically asked not to bring revolvers or 1911s as “primary firearms” to the classes.  This instruction is added as a note to bringing a full-size or compact handgun:

*NOTE: NRA Carry Guard Level One is designed for training with a semi-automatic handgun (Glock 19/17, Sig P226/P228 or equivalent). We will not allow revolvers or 1911s as your primary firearm in this class.

I can understand the reasoning to NOT want revolvers in a semi-auto class, but the decision to specifically bar the 1911 is most peculiar and likely to draw some ire of the NRA membership and potential student base.

I mean, the instruction simply does not add up. The NRA specifically asks for a “semi-automatic handgun” but then disallows America’s favorite semi-auto? I can understand if the program wants a minimum capacity, but even that does not make sense as they mention bringing backup guns, etc which then has the 1911 allowed:

You should bring a secondary firearm that you carry concealed, as well as a holster for such. We will run the course with a primary carry weapon and then run a course of fire with a secondary or back-up gun to evaluate the differences. Please bring at least 40 rounds of ammo appropriate for your carry firearm for this portion of the class. Revolvers, 1911s and/or subcompacts can be used for this portion of the class. (emphasis added)

If anything, the NRA should have set a type of handgun and impartial requirements. Instead, they are managing to shoot themselves in the foot with Carry Guard yet again…

I wonder what compelled the NRA to make such as decision?  Many CCW/Constitutional Carry folks with whom I am personally acquainted often carry 1911s.

Including me.

Could it be this politically correct age is creeping over into firearms choices from politics and ‘popular’ culture?

The NRA did ban ‘other’ CCW schools/insurance from their last convention, undoubtedly to limit competition between them.

I’ll bet is Col. Cooper were still with us (as an NRA Board member) this wouldn’t be a thing.

 

“The New Phone(book’s) Here!”

Remember?  From Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”?

Well this isn’t about that.  Or how I used to collect telephone books (when I was a PI).  (I’ve already written about that!)

How to be a PI (Lesson 4) pre-1986

Thankfully, my life isn’t ALL Sturm und Drang…

Today, is IS about the new CELLULAR TELEPHONES.  😛

S8 vs S7

My roomie has me on her cellular account, and loves new technology.  Fortunately (for us), the company with whom she contracts allows us to change or upgrade our phones up to three times a year!  At no additional cost!

Conspicuous consumerism and largess?

YES!

(Frankly, if I were living alone, I’d still have a flip phone, and be paying through-the-nose for service!)

The other day she decided she wanted to upgrade, and asked if I wanted to, as well.  (It had been well over a year…)

Duh.

To be fair, I was perfectly happy with my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (although, I rarely used the note part, many times I cannot read my own writing!)  But I’m certain it was clogged with unneeded and damaging apps, slowing performance, affecting memory and battery life.

At least that’s how I rationalized my decision!

So, off we went to the store…

About an hour and a half later, we left, each with a new Samsung Galaxy S8+ phone!  Of course, not unlike buying firearms, there was an additional charge for the ‘+’ part, as well as the new protective covers!  (J gets hers largely for style; mine so I won’t drop the slick S.O.B.!)  These new phones are never the same dimensions as the old – smart marketing on their part.

Thankfully, it wasn’t much.  We don’t have much.

How great is modern technology?  In a span of less than 20 minutes, the rep placed our old phones adjacent to the new, activated a procedure, and transferred all our telephone contacts, applications, photos, privacy settings etc. to the new phones!

Of course, there’s always tweaking.  Like changing the personalized ring and notification tones.  (J’s ringtone on my phone is the Looney Tunes theme.  Don’t tell her…  😛 )

Now if I can just learn all the new features before she wants another upgrade.

Sigh.

Truly, another First World problem!

(FTC – Samsung and the phone company give us nothing.  We pay (monthly) for everything!  Get your own phone!)

And The Adventure Continues, Part Siete

Well, here we are, again…

The contractor returned Thursday to close the hole in the ceiling.  He said their estimate disagreed with the material provided by the insurance company (i.e. they mentioned a repaint, but NOT closing the hole in the ceiling!)  A minimum of THREE WEEKS before they return.

We’ll see.

J., my roomie, continues to have health problems, multiple doctor appointments and physical therapy.  Next is a nerve ablation on her neck, which causes her great pain.

We’ll see.

I discontinued my auto insurance and notified the State my car is no longer on the road, pending sale or donation.  No sale or donation as of yet.  She’s still collecting spider webs…

We’ll see.

J. added me to her auto insurance as an additional driver.

We’ll see.

I’ve my own doctor appointment tomorrow, with a vascular surgeon(?!) regarding my right calf, which continues to be oversized.

We’ll see.

Money continues to be an issue.  Quelle surprise.

We’ll see.

Weather?  Today 111º.  Tomorrow 116º.  Tuesday 118º  That’s The Valley of the Sun in the Summer.  Oh, wait?  It’s not Summer, yet!  😛

We’ll see.

I will update you kind folks as I know more.

Thanks, again for your support.

Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye. 

My college mate, friend, and boss (when I worked security at the closed Legend City amusement park, in the 70s) has passed away.

John Conneally

Fair Winds and Following Seas, My Friend!

We only recently reconnected on Facebook after a 30 year absence.

As Father’s day is looming, I was going to write initially something about my Father, his Father, my Grandfather, or having been a father, etc….

But, you guys have already seen this in this venue.

I was a step-child.  And my step-mother and I were not in agreement on most things.  Like how to treat me.  And my father was largely absent.  My childhood memories are largely not pleasant ones.

Here’s what John’s stepson and one of his daughters had to say about him.

For Father’s Day.

John Conneally was my step-father from my body’s age of 8 1/2 to 14 1/2 and helped Tina Poling-Conneally raise me during those years. He introduced me critical analysis, science fiction, the concepts of leadership, teamwork, discipline, tactics, strategy, deduction and showed me what being brilliant without much solid, applicable way to make it useful for one’s self and society as a whole. As invaluable as they all are the most important one for me is the latter, and it motivates me more and more each day.
John died sometime either last night or today of complications from leukemia, liver failure and lung cancer. He had exposure to horrendous chemical wastes and other environmental hazards while in the Navy which very likely caused his leukemia and the liver and lung cancer came from self-medicating with tobacco and alcohol to keep his highly sensitive and strong soul from feeling and dealing with the internal awarenesses the society he grew up in had zero ability to teach him how to handle; John would have been a capable medicine man, shaman, holistic therapist and healing artist had he been born into this part of the world in the 80’s to today.
He lived as best a life as he could and I am glad I was able to be influenced by his life, both the good and the bad. May his pathways now lead him through all the misconceptions _and_ perfection of his life he just left. May his soul reach out to the wonders he sought and may be achieve them increasingly and unceasingly.
May he be able to choose rebirth, if and when he wants to from the realms of Experience that are without sufferings, pain fear and lack. May his lives and experiences between lives be of benefit to himself and All Beings.

Fare well, John Conneally. I am praying for you and perhaps we’ll meet again someday in much better and healthier ways.

Love to you.

____________

It’s a very hard thing, to think of someone you love in the past tense. Rest in peace, Dad. You are already missed.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

My wish for all of you as parents is to be as well thought of and loved in hindsight, as John’s children have of him.

If only…

 

 

Yep. ANOTHER Robert

(Bet you thought I forgot!)

Long time readers of this blog may remember my Life is replete with folks named Robert, Bob, David, Dave and similar variants.

Why?  I’ve no idea.

I was thinking this morning about someone who may have been the first.

No, not the physician, Indian artist or mediator (as far as I know).

Yep.  His name was(is) Robert Davidson(!)

…and a meme began!

He pretty much raised himself.  His parents were older (and somewhat self-involved).  I’ve no idea what his mother did.  She seemed to be absent a lot.  His father was a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel.  He spent most of his time (when I saw him) drinking liquor in their living room (where we weren’t allowed) and listening to his music.  His older brothers led their own lives, and seemed to be tangentially involved with raising him, trading off duties as it were.

He had a younger sister with mental and physical issues.  She followed us around like a puppy.  The last I heard, she was living more-or-less on her own in assisted living.

But Robert had innate talents.  Auto mechanics, electronics.  And he was the first of our age on the block to do cool stuff.

Build custom bicycles, grow his hair long, get busted for shoplifting (and escape store custody!), smoke dope. (The first time he showed me a ‘baggie’, I thought great, I’m going to prison!) Joy-riding in his parent’s car, before he was licensed.  He spent a Summer stealing VW Bug engines, and never got caught!  (or so I was told…)

And the one that really ticked me off:  Became intimate with a girl.  This ticked me off because he was two years younger than I!

The last I heard, Robert got into computers and was working for the community colleges in this capacity.  With another of my friends (from the magic club) named DAVID!

See, it never ends.  😛

And, with all the Internet tools now available, I’ve been unable to reconnect with him.  Too common a name, I guess.  David is in the wind, as well.

It Happened Again…

A leftist, Democrat, criminal shot up the place!

Four people, including United States Congressman Steve Scalise were shot, the congressman critically.  The shooter reported had asked if the folks on the field were Democrats or Republicans, upon finding out they were the latter, returned to his car, obtained a rifle and handgun and began shooting.

The shooter’s (name redacted) Facebook page was rife with hate toward the Republicans.  He was also a Bernie Sanders supporter.  Bernie has expressed shock at this grievous act.

Of course, if these weren’t politicians, it’d only be a blip on the radar.

In Chicago last weekend, 43 people were shot, 6 of those fatally.

Do we know any of their names?

And, while we’re on the subject, when was the last time a right-winger, Republican, someone NOT a leftist shot up the place?

How many serial shooters are right-of-center?  Or libertarian?

I’ll bet the numbers are small, if any (?)

The Left constantly accuses The Right (tea partisans?) of being violent, bitter, gun owners.  But, when violence occurs, be it shootings, riots, stabbings, WHO are the responsible parties?

And then The Left screams for more gun control, when the police officers doing security on the scene stopped the shooter.  With firearms.

Prayers for all who are injured.  None (from me) for the suspect, who reportedly has been dispatched.

I Miss Our ‘Founding Brothers’!

(from Peter-Bayou Renaissance Man)

“Every house divided against itself will not stand.” That goes for America, too.

In watching the brouhaha over alleged links between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, and allegations of who said what, when, to whom, and why, and what the words mean, I’m driven to a conclusion already reached by many.This nation is irreparably, irreconcilably divided against itself.

That became clear during the Presidential elections last year.  Even before the vote, researchers identified several key areas in which the two sides of our political divide have become more and more divided.  What’s more, that divide has come to dominate different areas and groups in our body politic.  To name just one example, since President Trump’s election, the mainstream news media (dominated to an extraordinary extent by the left, progressive wing of US politics) have unleashed a barrage of insults, disdain and attacks that is almost unprecedented in its uniformity.  Sure, past Presidents have faced similar attacks from a segment of US media;  but there were always almost equal and opposing resources to respond in kind.  That’s no longer the case, thanks to the domination of the media by left-wing money and groups and individuals.  Alternative views are all but drowned out by the hubbub.

What’s more, the mainstream media no longer care about non-partisanship.  They openly advocate for one side or the other.  A classic example is an article in the Washington Post last Sunday titled ‘Is media coverage of Trump too negative? You’re asking the wrong question.‘  A key quote:

The president’s supporters often say his accomplishments get short shrift. But let’s face it: Politicians have no right to expect equally balanced positive and negative coverage, or anything close to it. If a president is doing a rotten job, it’s the duty of the press to report how and why he’s doing a rotten job.

There’s more at the link.

I happen to believe, unlike the author, that the question in the title of the article is the right question, and needs answering:  and I believe that her cavalier dismissal of the president as ‘doing a rotten job’ is her own partisan perspective, rather than based on fact.  Therein lies the problem.  She would probably dismiss me as a ‘right-wing nut job’, rather than take my views seriously.  (I tried very hard to read her article with an open mind, but the partisanship of which it reeked made that very difficult indeed.)  Of course, the same bias and partisanship can be found in articles on the other side of the political divide, as well.  The problem cuts both ways.

A blogger writing under the name of Didact summed up the divide in an article last January.

On the one side, we have always had the small-government libertarian types. Back in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they were the Southern Democrats. They were primarily advocates of an agrarian-focused, decentralised, minimalist, small-government philosophy that generally left people the hell alone to get on with their own business.

On the other side, we have also always had the mercantilists, the industrialists, the big-government centralists. They believed that a strong central government was absolutely required to prevent the new nation from being overwhelmed by its competitors and sinking into irrelevance or slavery under a foreign power.

That ideological difference has persisted, in various forms and espoused by various parties, all the way through to the modern day. That is of course well known. Eventually, the divide became so deep and so bitter that it resulted in the War Between the States, which Northerners rather oxymoronically refer to as the Civil War, and Southerners somewhat more accurately refer to as the War of Northern Aggression.

That divide was eventually papered over, at least somewhat, by the North’s crushing victory over the South. To this day, the South still hasn’t fully recovered from that defeat and the years of the Reconstruction Era that followed- and the wounds and scars inflicted by that defeat still linger on.

But- and here is the key difference between then and now- even throughout those times of bitterest division and discord, the two sides were able to talk to each other, right up until the time for talking was over and there was nothing left to do but start shooting.

And that is precisely what America has now lost.

You will not find finer exemplars of the two spirits of America than Presidents Adams and Jefferson. One believed completely in a strong central government; the other believed equally completely in a weak one. The two argued, often contentiously and always with eloquence and conviction, in favour of their respective positions.

Yet the two of them were also closer than brothers. Their respect for each other transcended their political differences and united them in their love for their new country, and their desire to see it succeed. Not for nothing have they been called “Founding Brothers“.

This is what America has lost today. The two sides of the debate no longer talk to each other. They talk past each other.

Again, more at the link.

Many people recognize the existence of this divide in America;  but not many have thought about its implications for our nation as a whole.  Well, I’m a pastor, albeit a retired one.  I try to look at and think about this country from the perspective of my faith, just as others will see it through the filters of their own biases and perceptions and bedrock perspectives.  That faith makes me ask:  have things gone too far?  Have we reached a tipping point?

Jesus warned us:  “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”  Right now, our ‘kingdom’ (or country) is divided against itself.  Right now, our cities – overwhelmingly left-of-center in their political orientation – are divided against the heartland that feeds and sustains them.  Right now, our houses – our families – are often divided on political, social and economic issues.

Can this nation, in its present form, survive a divide so deep, so bitter, and so vitriolic?  I don’t know . . . but I have real and very serious doubts.  What say you, readers?

Peter

I remember stories of the politicians of old (the Sixties), who would yell at each other on the Senate or House floor, then meet afterward to share a beverage or two.
We have lost that civility, both in the legislature and the general population.
We already have discord, violence and riots in the streets.  And on the Internet.
What’s next – A shooting war?
😦

Poll Is Now Open: Begin Voting For The Fifth Annual Paul Revere Award

The number of small conservative blogs nominated since the inaugural award presentation in 2013 has tripled.  We here at Political Clown Parade are indebted to everyone who took the time to submit the names of blogs who are the modern-day offspring of the American Revolution’s pamphleteers—the brave and resolute men and women who feed our soul, who make us laugh about ourselves or life and restore our buoyancy in a troubled world.

The Paul Revere Award is dedicated to those bloggers who hold down jobs and raise their families while standing guard over liberty.  The icon for the award is American patriot Paul Revere who’s legendary “Midnight Ride” to warn the colonists of Massachusetts before the historic battles of Lexington and Concord played a vital role in America’s struggle to gain independence from Britain.

An obituary in the Boston Intelligence solemnly noted, “Seldom has the tomb closed upon a life so honorable and useful.”

Below you will find our poll.  You may cast your vote for multiple blogs but you will only be allowed to vote once.  We run a square house here.  Make sure you vote for all the blogs you consider your favorites.

Voting will close at 11:30 PM ET on Saturday, June 17.  The winners will be announced on Sunday, June 18.

The winners will be presented with a personalized award in the form of a badge which can be displayed on their website if they so choose.

Good luck to everyone!

I was brought to the attention of the vote for this award by my friend Jim (Nobody Asked Me – Old NFO)

I have cast my vote.  There are many worthy candidates.  You might stop by Political Clown Parade and cast yours!

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…