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The Eyes Have It! 

Cataracts (insert joke about Japanese luxury cars here!)

Seriously, I already was aware I had them, from my last eye exam.

As a card-carrying diabetic, I am supposed to have my head examined, ahem EYES examined, annually.

I obtained secondary eye/dental insurance for this year, having used MEDICARE previously.

The problem was, I traditionally was examined in January, and hadn’t met my deductible yet!  And $150 is difficult to acquire.

SO, I obtained a secondary. Which also had a deductible.  And as normally I would only see my ophthalmologist once annually….

You get the idea.

Suddenly, my primary health care insurer called me. “Why haven’t you had your diabetic eye exam yet?” 

“Well, I don’t have the cash!”

My primary insurer told me they would cover the exam, as long as I stayed in their network.  I would only pay my specialist fee.  $25.00.

The call was last week.  I saw the eye doc Tuesday THIS week!

Cataracts?  Yes.  Something may need to be done in three to five years.

My retinas? (the big concern of diabetics and their doctors).  EXCELLENT!

Next, I need to scare up funds to get new glasses, and I am golden.

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How to Safely Clear Your Home

(from The Art of Manliness)

How to Safely Clear Your Home

Click on the above link – it’s a substantial article!

Slicing the pie

Of course, I suspect most of you out there have a passing familiarity with how to do this.  I certainly do.  When I owned my two-bedroom, one bath 740 sq ft house (for 18 years), I was a victim of three burglaries!  And I cleared the house after each one.

And I was WRONG in so doing!

THIS IS WHAT THEY PAY THE POLICE FOR!  My ego and sense of violation got the better of me.  AND, I taught in every one of my classes to leave the scene and call the police.

(Those who cannot do teach?)

Still, it’s good to have this knowledge.  What if no police are available?

But, regardless, it should only be done in exigent circumstances…

Is Trump Causing a Slowdown in Gun Sales?

Politics works in mysterious ways. The more firearm regulations former President Obama tried to push through Congress, the higher gun sales became. Obama himself was lampooned as “the best gun salesman on the planet” by some industry insiders.
Obviously, the threat of overbearing regulation has faded in the era of the Trump administration. While one may think that a loosening of the reins would encourage more gun sales, the exact opposite has occurred. Gun stocks are down, and so are profits.
What is the explanation?
For all of his bluster, Obama was actually able to do very little about regulating firearms during his time in office. Yes, he was successful in bolstering the amount of total background checks processed. However, the Congress blocked all of his traditional legislation on the issue, and his Executive Orders addressing the topic have been all but completely overturned.
As it turns out, Americans were buying more guns on the threat of gun regulation rather than on any actual policy. Because Americans thought that certain types of rifles and add-ons such as sidearm silencers would soon be difficult or impossible to get, they stocked up. With Trump, there is no talk of gun regulation. Second Amendment rights advocates are no longer in a frenzy thinking that gun rights will disappear in the near future, so the new additions to the cache can wait.
The second factor that may account for a drop in gun sales is a level of satiety in the market. When Americans stocked up on guns during Obama’s term, they really stocked up. Contrary to popular belief, the modern American under Trump believes that they have enough guns – for now.
The Trump slump is a serious issue for the firearms industry. Mid America Armament gun show sales have dropped 50%, with total sales down about 25% from Obama administration years. The former Smith & Wesson, now known as the American Outdoor Brands Corporation, had its stock price drop significantly on election day. Sturm Ruger faced similar losses in its stock price.
Financial analysts predicted firearm sales would take a hit as far back as November. Learn why in the video below.
~ Firearm Daily

“When in danger or in doubt, run in circles scream and shout!”  (from a 1920’s Naval Academy magazine)

We political gun folks seem to become apoplectic when those in power even suggest possible gun control legislation.  But we become complacent when the people in power seem to support gun rights.

Not so fast, there, Bucko!  Historically, there have been a number or Republicans (Conservatives?) in power who signed in legislation which was antithetical to the Constitution, and that which is near-and-dear to us.

Tried to buy a newly-made European machine gun lately?

We must remain vigilant and (if we are able) support the marketplace.

Lest more of our rights whither or be taken away!

How Google and other Tech Companies are Working to Turn People Against the 2nd Amendment

(from American Gun News, in part)

Google and other companies in the Silicon Valley are no longer content to simply donate as much spare cash as possible to anti-gun candidates for federal office. The tech moguls in the bluest of blue districts in the United States have chosen a side in the culture wars and are taking direct aim at the 2nd Amendment. Here is how Google and other tech giants are actively working to turn people against your gun rights.

Google
eBay was the first tech giant to ban firearms sales from its platform, but Google was not far behind. This should come as no surprise considering the eight-year game of “musical chairs” between Google and the notoriously anti-Second Amendment Obama administration. A staggering 258 executives and government employees rotated jobs through the revolving door between the Obama White House and Google between 2009 and 2016. At the end of Barack Obama’s first term, Google suddenly banned the sale of firearms from its shopping platform, declaring guns and ammo to not be “family safe.” Not family safe? That bigoted statement alone has the power to shape public perception about firearms.
Then consider the creepy report from the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in 2015. Researchers discovered that Google’s search algorithm can manipulate 20 percent or more of undecided voters to switch their votes!
Robert Epstein, the senior research psychologist on the study, told Politico that Google has the ability to “control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs … [more] than any company in history has ever had.” If Google can trick people into switching their voting preferences, it’s easy to see that it could be doing the same thing with opinions on gun rights.

Facebook
This social media giant has been moving toward becoming an online shopping platform more and more in recent years, but in 2016 Facebook suddenly began treating gun owners as pariahs. To this day, Facebook refuses to say how many gun enthusiast pages it took down in a massive purge when it rolled out a new policy to ban the private sales of firearms — which are legal in most states.
Facebook has assigned a liaison to help bring gun enthusiast pages into compliance with its policy, but many gun owners simply abandoned the platform and went elsewhere, according to Forbes. This is just another instance of a giant Silicon Valley company treating gun owners as second-class citizens, with a separate set of rules and regulations that other retailers do not have to abide by. This is compounded by anti-gun activists poring over Facebook posts and flagging anything related to guns as “offensive” until Facebook takes the post or a user’s entire page down.

Shadowbanning
Insiders at Twitter admitted in 2016 that the company has been shadowbanning the tweets of prominent conservatives, including many Second Amendment patriots. A “shadowban” is simply a form of censorship in which the tech giant that censors you never tells you that you’ve been censored. You can still tweet a picture of that new sidearm you purchased, but none of your friends or family members will ever see it because it was shadowbanned. Many Facebook users have reported that their posts have been shadowbanned as well.

Payment Platforms
Online services PayPal, Stripe and Square have all banned gun stores from using their platforms for business. Never mind that these are lawful businesses operated by federal firearms license holders who conduct background checks before all sales.

Gladwin Guns and Ammo in Merced, CA filed a lawsuit against the three Silicon Valley money transfer services in June of 2017. Owner Blair Gladwin told the Merced Sun-Times, “They flat-out shut me down. My livelihood is on the line, because my revenue is going to drop.” 2nd Amendment enthusiasts will want to keep an eye on this case, because it could have a nationwide impact on whether lawful gun stores are allowed to use the same services as most other businesses.

Conclusion
Google and other tech giants are sending gun owners, gun shops and people who simply support gun rights to the “back of the bus” in 2017. Constant discrimination like this against gun owners does have an impact on public perception and this is a problem that all gun owners should be concerned with — especially knowing the tremendous power that the Silicon Valley wields with its vast troves of data on Americans.

This should be of no surprise, as Northern California (and California in general) is a bastion of liberal political thought.  It is surprising that Amazon (farther North in Washington State), while not selling firearms, does allow sale of  accessories, stocks, lubricants and novelty items (a chocolate Glock?).

The problem is, unless we ‘protest’ these entities by going off the grid (no cellular telephones, tablets, payment platforms or social networking, or using their services), they will continue to make huge dollars unabated.  And continue to ‘control’ the masses.

Sharpton Targets the Jefferson Memorial

from Liberty Headlines, in part)

(Matthew Vadum, Bombthrowers.com) Racial arsonist Al Sharpton is demanding the federal government shut down the historic Jefferson Memorial in the nation’s capital because the long-dead president honored by the monument owned slaves.

Al Sharpton Photo by Elvert Barnes

Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president, the man who wrote the justly revered Declaration of Independence, is also the man who penned this noble sentence: “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Perhaps he was thinking of future Al Sharptons when he wrote it.

Boiled down, this is a case where one of the most important, heroic, inspirational, intellectually robust, accomplished, and beloved figures in American history is under assault by one of the most repulsive, cowardly, sociopathic, intellectually deficient, unaccomplished, and despised figures in American history.

It was President John F. Kennedy who said at a White House dinner honoring a cohort of Nobel Prize winners from across the Western hemisphere:

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.

“Someone once said that Thomas Jefferson was a gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, and dance the minuet,” Kennedy said April 29, 1962.  (…)

You should really go and read the whole article!

I’ve stated before, I believe in this Republic, warts and all!

We need to recognize previous generations, their leaders, generals and Presidents trying to make this nation survive, were living within the confines of their times.  General Grant owned slaves; General Lee did not.  Yet both were men of honor.  Jefferson was a genius who more than doubled the size of the United States and her territories.  And yes, he owned slaves, and may have fathered children with one (there is evidence it might have been one of his brothers!)

Let’s stop throwing the baby out with the bathwater!

Recognize them for their accomplishments, but remember their mistakes.

Kennedy was a womanizer and drug user.  Johnson fathered an illegitimate child.  Jackson committed genocide against certain Indian tribes, but fought afterward to give then aid.  But kept the Republic budget balanced, and with no debt and no national bank!

Erasing history is anathema!

♫ Ev’rything That’s Old Is New Again ♫

aka  ♫  When Will They Ever Learn?  When Will they EVER Learn  ♫  ?

I like diet soda.  I’ve been consuming large quantities of it since the late 70’s, when I largely gave up sugar.

It also provides me caffeine, as I drink little coffee.

And, my daily allowance of chemicals I know are not good for me!

I remember back in the 80’s, when New Coke came into the marketplace.  Not diet, but a big deal in the soft drink world.  And it flopped.  People liked the previous formula.

Remember Pepsi Clear, Pepsi Free and numerous other attempts by the soda industry to corner and expand the market?

Well, the Coca Cola Company is at it again.

When they initially came out with Diet Coke, I was heartbroken.  The (then) wife and I were ardent fans of Tab, with it’s high caffeine and no sugar.  I even bought a few two liter bottles and squirreled them away for an upcoming anniversary (my wife didn’t drink).

And when Tab began disappearing from the shelves and Diet Coke replaced it, we bit-the-bullet and gave it a try.

A few months later, the anniversary rolled around, and to both our surprises, we had developed a taste for Diet Coke.  And the shelved, vintage Tab tasted funny!

Fast forward to the 00’s.  A long-time Diet Coke fan, it was announced another diet drink would be added to the mix.  Coke Zero.  Alleged to taste closer to real Coke!

So, I gave it a try.

Lo and behold it was closer to original Coke (which I loved in days of yor).  Spiciness had been added!  Soon my Diet Coke addiction had been replaced by Coke Zero.

And all was right with the World!

But, ‘they’ cannot leave well enough alone.  It was announced in July, that Coke Zero sales hadn’t met their expectations, and production will end at the end of August!

And replaced with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar!  With ‘improved’ taste!

Well, last time I went for Zero, it was there, but had not been faced, and this old cripple couldn’t bend to reach it!  So, I grabbed some CCZS.

The verdict?

Bland.  It lacks the zip of original Coke or the spiciness of Zero.

Sigh.

They still make small productions of Tab, if I can find it…

THIS Is CNN, Part Three

(from Liberty Headlines)

(Henry Rodgers, Daily Caller News Foundation) CNN published a story Wednesday calling “ordinary” supporters of President Donald Trump white supremacists and blaming them for the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Va.

CNN: Everyone Who Voted For Trump Is a ‘White Supremacist by Default’

CNN Writer/Producer John Blake (CNN screen shot)

“‘White supremacists by default‘: How ordinary people made Charlottesville possible,” CNN blamed Trump voters of helping advance white supremacy, saying the non-racist, “ordinary” Trump voters are giving white supremacists room to operate and are the reason violence erupted in Charlottesville.

“It’s easy to focus on the angry white men in paramilitary gear who looked like they were mobilizing for a race war in the Virginia college town. But it’s the ordinary people — the voters who elected a reality TV star with a record of making racially insensitive comments, the people who move out of the neighborhood when people of color move in, the family members who ignore a relative’s anti-Semitism — who give these type of men room to operate,” CNN’s John Blake wrote, crediting one other professor and “others” for contributing to the story.

You know I’m not a big fan of the President.  I am also not a fan of ad hominem attacks (even though in my catagories and tags, I refer to the subject of this article as idiots.  😛  )

But painting everyone who supported the President with such a broad brush is ridiculous!  And just wrong.  Every Trump supporter I know is not a White supremacist, just as every Hillary supporter I know is not a communist.

And this is not the first time they have crossed the line!

THIS is CNN

THIS is CNN, Part Two

I’m thinking of no longer watching them, or relying on them for ‘honest’ reporting.

(Oh, wait – I did that years ago!)

Two Massage Experiences

I LOVE getting a quality massage!  (I’m writing here of a medically-authorized version, you dirty guys!)

I began getting them in the 80’s, when I could afford them.  I saw an add for a local shop and thought “What the hell, why not?”

I think the place was called Kneaderbodies.

The experience was transformative.

From then on, every few months, I’d count my pennies and come up with the $30 (+ tip).

Then, I lost the home the wife and I shared, and it became cost prohibitive for a while…

Fast-forward to the 00’s.  I’d bought another home and got settled in.  My daughter and wife were no longer around.  Then, I remembered my massages of yore.  Sadly, Kneaderbodies had moved, and I didn’t know to where!

I spent many a Saturday visiting a local indoor swap meet, because I liked the atmosphere.  It was very carnivalesque, snack foods and crappy junk and factory seconds for sale.  Along with retailers who were on their way up (or down).

There was some Asian dude giving massages to people (with their clothes loosened, but still on).  He also taught gung-fu and did acupuncture.  Turns out he had been a doctor in China, but couldn’t get certified here in the States.  I saw him give acupuncture to a guy who had an injured shoulder.  Couldn’t raise his arm past his waist.  After 45 minutes of acupuncture, he had full range of motion without pain!

This caught my interest, although I had no reason for acupuncture.

So, I opted to try a massage.  55 minutes for $52.00 (?!) or something like that…

Deep-tissue Chinese massage.  Quite painful as applied, but afterward…

Miraculous!

I explained I was diabetic, and as such had chronic neuropathy in my legs, feet and hands.  Sometimes it was all I could do to drive there and walk in from the parking lot.

And hour later I could leave with NO PAIN!  And I was not on any pain meds at the time!

I usually left there and went to my favorite gun store to hang out for a few hours.  On my feet!

Sadly, my financial status changed again, and I could no longer afford massage.  I lost my second house, and moved even farther away.  I saw in local news the indoor swap mart had closed.

I did locate Xi, who now has his own storefront, studio and school!  Sadly, if I don’t want to get a massage from one of his employees or students @ $60, I must pay $125 for his services!

The price of success?

Back to counting my pennies…

TFB EXCLUSIVE: NFA Process Modernized For Fast Approvals

(from The Firearm Blog)

Without rule changes, regulation amendments, politicians or legislation, a partnership between the U.S. government and a small private industry group has dramatically changed the process in which National Firearms Act (NFA) controlled items are transferred between individuals and entities. There is now a system in place within the BATFE’s NFA DIvision, that will allow nearly everyone who files a Form 4 to transfer controlled items, such as silencers, a genuine chance at receiving approved forms in a few short months. Alongside the ATF, three silencer industry stalwarts spearheaded the best modernization of the registry in 83 years: Dead Air Armament, GEMTECH and Silencer Shop.

The goal is to have wait times down to a fraction of current levels.

click above for the full article!

Who knew a government bureaucracy, responsible for controlling and monitoring Title II Class III weaponry would cooperate with both citizens and private corporations to lessen some of the governmental nonsense!?

(I suspect these changes weren’t authorized by the previous administration! – Guffaw  😛  )

(and now for something completely different! – with apologies to Monty Python for using this intro.)

A Judy Update

Judy came through her shoulder surgery yesterday with flying colors.  The next test is navigating today, with the local nerve block wearing off!  She does have pain meds, and the ice jacket (obtained last time through your generosity and kindness!)  Thanks again for your kind remarks emails, good thoughts and prayers! – Guffaw

Well, Here We Are AGAIN…

My roomie Judy has a multitude of health problems.  More than I, which is a little disquieting…

Five months ago, almost to the day, she had rotator cuff surgery on her right shoulder.  After months of physical therapy, it seems to operate almost pain-free!

However, she also has a LEFT shoulder.

It seems standing Frankenstein’s monster-esque for over thirty years (she is a hairdresser, standing and arms-out-front) is not conducive to shoulder joint health!

So, this morning, she goes under the knife yet again, this time on her left side.

As she has chronic heart and breathing issues, this could get complicated, more so than the average bear.

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers today (if that’s what you do).

I will post her occasionally as to her progress.

At least it’s her left, this time – she is right handed and last time was taxing for her.

Thank you.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…