This category contains 23 posts

Droning On Further

(…further on?)

I’d two encounters regarding drones the other night.

One was an episode of Madame Secretary, wherein the female Secretary of State co-opts her own brother to obtain information to locate and assassinate an American-born Isis member.

Via a drone strike in a foreign land.

(I’ve an ongoing discussion regarding this TV show – a friend thinks it’s a stalking horse to put Hillary Clinton in the White House.  I disagree.  The protagonist is a former CIA officer, married to a religious ethics professor at The War College, who is a part-time NSA guy.  Hardly The Clintons!)


The second encounter was a TV commercial showing a drone package delivery (Amazon? – I don’t remember, we have The Hopper and fast-forward through most of the commercials! :-) )

Now, I don’t know if this was a planned placement of drones on commercial television to get us used to the idea of them flitting about, or serendipity, or what?

I do remember this administration’s last attorney general not ruling out the idea of drone strikes against American citizens on our own soil(!)

Two drones and The Hopper in one evening?  Perhaps it’s just coincidental?  Showing us how far technology has advanced?


Drone Biggest

A Journey Through Fallen Golden Arches

mcdMcDonald’s was never on my radar as a child.  We, as a family, rarely did ‘fast food’, and when we did, it was something like Kentucky Fried Chicken (before they stopped calling it fried, as hawked by the REAL Kentucky Colonel!) or Gibby’s Broasted Chicken.  I do remember a visit to Dogs N’ Suds, once.

My Dad was one of those guys, who if they had a poor commercial experience with a vendor, never gave them a second chance.  He used to often regale us with the tale of visiting McDonald’s Sunstroke Room (because they didn’t have covered, exterior parking in the Phoenix Summers), and ordering a chocolate shake-thin, because he preferred to drink them through a straw rather than eat them with a spoon.  He didn’t understand that they had recently begun utilizing an early milk shake machine in lieu of the Mixmaster, making shakes one thickness. Thick.  That forever ruined McD’s for him.  And colored his later fast-food decisions.

So we got to hear the sunstroke room tale every time their TV commercial appeared.  And we never went there.

The first time I visited McDonald’s, I was a college freshman, trying desperately trying to impress fellow freshman Marta B. (a lovely Scandinavian brunette) to go make out with me study for finals.  During an abortive effort to get alone, she asked we drive through.  I was unimpressed, mostly because I was a horny freshman, but also because the generic cheeseburger had ketchup, mustard and a pickle chip – of which I was not fond.

It was five years later, when my Dad (who by then knew the franchisee of the dreaded sunstroke room location – the first McDonald’s in Phoenix – then located a little South of the SW corner of Central and Indian School Rd.) got me a job there when I was between ‘better’ jobs.

I worked there almost two weeks.  I learned how to prepare their signature sandwiches, fries and shakes, including making them to my tastes.  And, that, when when one wasn’t serving a customer or cooking, one was cleaning!  That impressed me.

Then, I moved on to another, more familiar, security guard-related job.  The McDonald’s moved a little further South, and across the street.  No more neon arches.  Or sunstrokes.  They now had an indoors.

By then I was hooked.  After all, I knew how to order my favorite burgers, now.  And they had terrific fries.

Life continued.  I grew up, got married, became a father.  And sometimes took Molly to The Golden Arches.  My (then) wife was never a fan, preferring Jack-In-The-Box.  (Whom I also like.)

And, somewhere down the line, I got separated and divorced.  And McDonald’s began serving breakfast! 

I found I liked the sausage biscuits.  And hash browns!  Breakfast service ending promptly at 10:30 A.M.

Recently, McD’s has begun losing it’s market share.  And they’ve made a number of changes to their menu since I was trying to kiss Marta.  All in the name of getting back on top of the fast food pyramid.

Finally, they announced October 6 that they would loosen their no breakfast after 10:30 policy and begin serving breakfast ALL DAY!  As many of their competitors have already done.

I was thrilled!  I needed to run to Safeway yesterday morning, and needed to eat something.  A McDonald’s is conveniently just across the street.  What time is it? – OH, THAT’S RIGHT – All Day Breakfast!

Alas!  It was false advertising.  The do have some items from the breakfast menu all day – but NOT the sausage biscuits!

Fooled again by The Golden Arches.

And no Scandinavian beauty to kiss, either!

attention FTC – neither KFC, Gibby’s or Mickey D’s have given me anything.  Nor did Marta, and I’m frustrated – GO AWAY!


I’m Certain It’s Healthy…

I had to run an errand (make certain I’d enough funds in the bank to pay my auto insurance!  Thanks again for your kind assistance T&K!)

While I was running about I decided to drive-through Dutch Bros. Coffee.  (I do also visit that other  coffee place, but, Dutch Bros. has openly supported firearms rights of their employees!)  There is one just up the block from home.

seattlechoctopAnd I got my usual – a medium Cafe’ Americano (coffee), unsweetened, with extra cream – iced.  And, as I had never tried one, a Grandma Ruthie’s Chocolate Chip Muffin Top!  (For those who have never tried one, a muffin top is pretty much as described, a large, soft cookie, resembling the top torn off a muffin!  YUMMY!  (Mrs. Field’s used to also sell her version – delicious!)

I returned home, and leisurely drank my coffee and wolfed-down said muffin top.

Then I read the package labeling.

(in part)

Although our location has changed, the original recipes and handmade process has always remained the same. We refuse to skimp on the ingredients and will always stay committed to use only the highest premium quality available.

Then, the ingredients (in the fine print)…


click to embiggen

Yep, just like Grandma used to make – If she had been a Monsanto chemist!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It tasted wonderful!  And, I’d no allusions that it had been made a dozen-at-a-time in some old lady’s kitchen…

But, the advertising was a little sketchy.

And yes, I will probably purchase another in the future.


FTC – I bought everything mentioned.  Go Away!

Dude, I Want That!

Back-in-the-day, in a previous lifetime, I was married.  And, ‘the wife’ and I, like most young married folk, were poor.

NOT living on the street-out-of-dumpsters poor, but we weren’t yuppies…

And we spent much of our free time off together window shopping.  We would adjourn to one of the nicer malls and walk around, people watching, and looking agog at the clean, shiny goods in the various stores.

Most ALL of which we couldn’t afford.  It was cheap entertainment.

Now, here it is 35-ish years later.  I’m divorced (although my ex-wife lives about 1/4 mile N.E. of me, and we remain friends).  And walking long distances on tiled concrete is not something my legs and feet tolerate very well.

SO, as with many other things, I ‘live’ on the Internet!

Now, the nice thing about this (aside from wearing boxer shorts whist ‘window shopping’) are the myriad of shopping locations – Amazon, EBay, L.L.Bean, Brownells, Duluth Trading, Dillon Reloading.

But wait, there’s MORE! (as they intone on late night TV).


and DUDE I WANT THAT!  :-)

Now I don’t know which came first – and I really don’t care (nor do I receive anything from them, FTC!), but these carbon copies of each other are wonderful merchants who market to MEN (and like-minded women) all manner of things through their respective retailers.

Subcategories in Uncrate

Subcategories in Werd


Just what every guy with spare funds needs to fritter about a weekend afternoon, purchasing everything from ecofriendly toothbrushes and razors, to rye whiskey and SUVs!

Or, if you are like me, just windows shops…

Everything that’s old is new again!

Snake-Oil Salesman?

Butter flavored?  :-)

(in part from Bayou Renaissance Man)

Another controversy is brewing in the firearms industry, this time over the alleged nature of a firearms cleaning and lubrication product.  Andrew Tuohy of Vuurwapen Blog (“Firearm Blog”) reports.

If you have been on the internet and have visited a sampling of firearm related blogs or social media sites in the last few weeks, you have most likely come across reports or claims that FireClean is nothing more than Crisco vegetable oil.

. . .

I did not – and still do not – believe that FireClean is Crisco, but not for the reason you might think. Although such statements make for shocking arguments, it wouldn’t really make sense to buy a name brand product at a high price if the goal was to resell and make money.

Still, the claim that FireClean is nothing more than Crisco is not one to be taken lightly by anyone … I sought to undertake my own testing to determine whether or not these claims are true about FireClean. Trust, but verify.

. . .

I contacted a professor at the University of Arizona – a very nice man with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry – and he agreed to help with an infrared spectroscopy test of FireClean and two types of Crisco.

. . .

What did the tests show?

FireClean is probably a modern unsaturated vegetable oil virtually the same as many oils used for cooking.

I don’t have the time, ability or money to test the myriad gun-cleaning/lubrication chemicals out there.  I still utilize Hoppe’s #9, WD-40 and Remington gun oil for crissakes!  And that runny white stuff for ARs…

And lithium grease for final lube.

AND, I no longer have the firearms I used to have on which to test such things.

I DO like some of the ads I see for modern, high-fallutin’ compounds, though…

Which is why I appreciate Bayou Renaissance Man and Andrew Tuohy!



Old NFO was kind enough to remind us, after having watched the ‘debate’, do we have to watch another 17 months of this!?

My answer:  NO.

My choice.

First, it wasn’t a debate.  I did debate in high school – this was not it.  There hasn’t been anything resembling a Presidential Debate since Kennedy/Nixon.

Second, they can say anything they want!  They are not under oath.  It would be more amusing had the Federal Election Commission swore them all in to tell the truth.  Then, post election, if any elected official violated his/her oath…

Yeah, right.

I can dream.



Part of my ongoing, imperfect move toward self-improvement is to learn to ‘let go’ of others negative actions in the past.

And my own.  As for me, I’ve been making amends.  Mostly.

Other folks, well…

My roomie has been watching some comedy on our satellite TV network.  Apparently everyone is in it – so she recommends I watch it.

One of the noted cast members is J*** F****!

You remember:  that traitorous bitch actress who visited NORTH Vietnam while were at war engaging in a ‘police action’ against them, demoralizing our own efforts and (in my opinion) giving aid and comfort to the enemy!

I’m sorry.  She can rail against the capitalist system, all while making millions selling movies, and work-out videos.  And continue to appear in films and TV shows.

I’ve no problem with that.  (Hypocritical though it may be…)


Giving aid and comfort to the enemy, for me, is beyond the pale.

Then, there’s that (then) 23-year-old guy who broadsided my daughter Molly and I. (in 1995)  I’m unable to forgive HIM, yet, either.

Frankly, I’m more likely to forgive HIM than Ms. F****.  He was speeding, rushing to get to his job when he ran the light and T-Boned us.  Accidents happen.  (A co-worker reportedly said he bragged about ‘getting away with it!’  He paid an $800.00 fine.  Stupidity and youth and all that.)

That traitorous bitch visited a country with which we were at war, actively supported them against us.  There are even stories of her betraying POWs she visited to their captors – although theoretically those stories have been debunked.

Regardless, if she had protested at home, as many good Americans did, I’d have no problem.  Protest is a fine American tradition.

Hollywood has produced some amazing talents.  J*** F**** and Sean Penn amongst them.

Sean Penn hugged Hugo Chavez.  While ridiculous and reprehensible, we are not at war with his country.


She should still be in Leavenworth.  At least.  The car guy should have served time for vehicular manslaughter, and would probably have gotten out by now.

She did issue an apology years later.

He has not, except a mumbled “I’m sorry” in court.

Accidents are, sadly, accidents.  Treason is treason.

I’m still not watching that show.

Obviously, in the area of forgiveness, I’ve still work to do…

Rolex Stories

I always wanted a Rolex™.

When I was newly married (and quite cash poor) I used to moon at the jeweler’s window in the Christown Mall, eying the Oyster Perpetual (in stainless or course, the lowest rung).  I think they wanted $350 for it!

Might as well have been 10 million!

Of course, this lust was because of my following of the tales of James Bond.  Since the 7th Grade.  Both the films and the books.  (Hint – the books are superior!)

When I became an adult, the lust continued.  And I never cobbled together enough funds to acquire one.

(I toyed with buying a knock-off on the Internet once, but it was Chinese, and I couldn’t bring myself to do it!)

Then I read a story.

Some guy was flying first class, and happened to be seated next to a well-appointed businessman.  They got to talking, and it turned out the business guy was the president of Rolex!

So, in the name of polite conversation, the other guy asked, “How’s the watch business?”

The response?  “I’ve no idea – I’m in the luxury business!” 

And, as a (somewhat) responsible adult, I always chuckled at the idea of a British intelligence agent either buying or being issued such an expensive timepiece.  Certainly not to keep undercover?

Then, Stormbringer gave me the answer!

(You have to click on the watch to see it!)



Regarding Indiana’s’, Arkansas’ New Law(s)…

And Texas’ old one…

AND a federal one.

(and rather libertarian principles…)

I believe contracts between people (and corporations) should be voluntary in nature.

If your religion (or principles, or personal beliefs, or bigotry) coerce/convince you to not do business with someone because of their beliefs, or creed, or disability, or gender, or age, or sexual preference, et al, then, by all means, DON’T DO BUSINESS WITH THEM!

(AHEM, however)

Be prepared to reap the attention of the Federal government.

Federal law already prohibits denial of goods or services due to a customer’s race, color, age, disability, or gender.  (Thank you President CLINTON!)  Why do States feel the need to rubber-stamp the federal law?

HOWEVER, I also believe, as they do in Texas, that businesses have to right to refuse service.  Period.  No explanation is necessary or required.

And THE MARKETPLACE will make the ultimate decision!

If a business excludes certain persons from engaging in contracts with them, then they will make less money.

More open businesses will prosper more.

Because there are more capitalists then there are bigots.

I’m certain there are more businesses ready, willing and able to do business with any customers brought to them by anyone with a wallet.

In Indiana, Arkansas, and Texas!

Imagine a world where government stays out of such things?

Why would I want to do business with someone who wishes to not do business with me?  Just to force my agenda on THEM?

A pizza place in Indiana closed because of protests by persons who didn’t like their refusal to cater a gay wedding.  Here’s a hint – go elsewhere!

And the pizza place received unsolicited contributions from  freedom-loving folks (to the tune of over $450,000!)

Here an exemplar:

View image on Twitter


h/t Free North Carolina, The Blaze

Because MAD MEN…(NSFW)

The last and final SEVEN episodes start tonight!


(Yeah, I know, I’m a dirty old man!)

The ubiquitous and intense (and sometimes sexy) show, which reveals for us mores and folkways of Madison Avenue in the 60’s and 70’s is back.  Complete with the political incorrectness, drinking and smoking in the workplace, and sometimes the degradation of women.

It was a different time.

We have evolved.

But we still like women.

"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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"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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