archives

being human

This category contains 88 posts

♫ When I’m 64 ♫

♫ “When I’m Sixty Four”♫

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with youI could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
Ho!

(apologies to Paul McCartney)

Well, I turned 64 today.
There’s no one special person to whom this song applies.
I suppose I should be grateful I’ve made it this far.
But, frankly, doing it alone sucks.
(I’ll stop whining now.)
I DO have friends, family and animals to whom I can turn in time of need.
And that means everything.
Almost.
A touch, a hug, a kiss.  Holding a hand?
Doesn’t appear to be in my future.
(Okay, I will stop whining now!)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

Saying Goodbye To Bob @ Burro Town

My dear friend Bob Hall passed away February last.  He had suffered complications from diabetes (first losing a big toe, then the lower half of a leg), then ultimately acid reflux lead to GERD, and then esophageal cancer.  The last few months of his life, he was eating through a feeding tube.  Lost half his weight, and was fighting pneumonia which finally took him.

I had known Bob, first as my investigation boss at Tom Ezell & Associates; later as my boss at Legendary Guns of the West (where I worked part-time), since 1981.  More than being a boss, he was a dear friend.  We saw each other through the stuff of life.  I’ve a stepbrother – Bob and I are much closer.

He was always honest and true to me.  His trademark was nothing is so serious that a joke cannot be made about it.  Irreverent humor – Firesign Theatre and Monty Python quotes were often exchanged between us.

He was a crack shot and loved to go ‘to the desert’ to go shooting.  Even in his final days, using a walker.  And he passed his love of guns and The Second Amendment to his wife and daughters.

He didn’t want a somber funeral.

I heard from one of his daughters that this Saturday (yesterday) was to be his memorial celebration.  A caravan of his friends and family went to the desert to one of his favorite shooting spots, did some eating, shooting, then spread his ashes.

Bob’s favorite things, family, shooting and grilling – combined!

I was honored to have been invited, and was honored to bring and shoot my 1911 – a National Match slide on a Vega frame, with lowered Bomar sights, a Micro bushing, and Swenson ambidextrous safety,  hand-fitted by gunsmith Burke Hill.  Which Bob sold to me in 1983.

I dubbed her The Bob Hall Signature Model.  My roommate calls her Bobbie.

It’s been probably 20K rounds, and except for occasional cleaning, lube and replacing the recoil spring @ 3000 rounds, not much has changed.  She remains a tack driver.

Essentially a race gun (c) 1977.

And she is my companion when the Phoenix weather permits.

Bob sold her to me for a pittance.  He never profited from guns he sold to friends.  And I had to make payments to him, I was so poor! (having been a new father at the time.)

It’s only fitting I take her to what Bob called Burro Town to shoot her one more time.

For Bob.

So, about eighteen of us gathered yesterday.  Did some shooting – ate BBQ chicken with all the fixings. (including cherry cheesecake – Bob’s favorite!)

Then, we stood in a circle and shared memories of Bob.  There was tears and laughter.  Then Anita (Bob’s wife) asked those who wish to to take some of Bob’s ashes and place them about Burro Town*.

Then, we shot a simultaneous volley in his name.  All of us using guns once owned by him!

This is the photo the family chose to place on the food table.  Bob hated having his picture taken.

20161119_135525

(*It was named Burro Town by Bob, due to the wild burros that wander the region.  Usually, we see a few.  Yesterday, they were absent.)

donkey-crossing-warning-sign

But we who loved him were there.

 

Things That Make One Go “Hmmm”.

(As posted on The Grey Enigma)

Some Pacific Islanders Have DNA Not Linked To Any Known Human Ancestor – All That Is Interesting

Children from the village of Hanuabada play cricket in the streets on February 24, 2012 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Most everyone knows that the islands of the South Pacific are some of the most remote and unique places on Earth, but a new study reveals just how unique they really are.According to a report from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, researchers have found traces of a previously unknown extinct hominid species in the DNA of the Melanesians, a group living in an area northeast of Australia that encompasses Papua New Guinea and the surrounding islands.A computer analysis suggests that the unidentified ancestral hominid species found in Melanesian DNA is unlikely to be either Neanderthal or Denisovan, the two known predecessors of humankind to this point.

Source: Some Pacific Islanders Have DNA Not Linked To Any Known Human Ancestor – All That Is Interesting

View original post

An addendum to that whole ‘the science is settled’ thing.

We thought we knew about the origins of mankind.

Obviously not.

Helen Rawls RIP

Tempus Fugit

Helen Rawls is a childhood memory.               Helen Rawls Obituary

Jim (about who was written here previously) is my oldest continuous friend.  I’ve known him since August 1960, when he was in First Grade and I in Third.  She was his mother.

Helen passed on Halloween at 97.

from her Arizona Republic obituary (in part):

…She spent the remaining years of her childhood in Indianapolis, graduated from Short Ridge High School, became a stenographer, and joined the Army. She was one of the first women (other than nurses), to be a member of the armed forces.

… Helen was active in the Community Christian Church, as a member of the ASU Faculty Wives and the League of Women Voters. She was also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, tutored at local schools, and worked with various other charities. She lived the last 29 years of her life at Friendship Village Tempe.

Services are at Friendship Village Health Care Center – 2525 E. Southern Ave. Tempe, on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm. Contributions can be made to a charity of your choice , in Helen’s name.

Until I read the above, I’d not known she had been in the Army.  She was my friend’s mom.  And a fine woman.  She was pre-deceased by her husband Bill, who had been a physics professor at A.S.U. in 1996.

Bill had served in the Navy.  My thanks to you both for your service.

Helen and Bill were the most functional family on the block.  (Obviously, an improvement over my dysfunctional family!)  Raised quality kids, participated in church and civic affairs, recycled before it was cool.  I knew Helen as just one of the housewives on the block.

Hardly just!

I’m glad they are together now.

 

Partisanship, With Blinders

Regular readers know I am not openly supporting any Presidential candidate (except, of course, Joe Maddon – the Chicago Cubs manager, on my sidebar!🙂 – bumper stickers for charity! )

So, I’ve been observing the machinations and mewlings of the candidates as a distracted observer.  With an airline barf bag at-the-ready!

An interesting side note on this (and most recent) elections, is the degree of partisanship that continues to appear.  For example:  YOUR candidate said “X” so many years ago (a crude statement), therefore they do not deserve to be President!  Completely ignoring the high crimes and misdemeanors perpetrated by their own candidate!  A crime being stronger than an inappropriate statement.

Now we have a recent debate (which, again, I refused to watch) wherein Mr. Trump made a number of provocative statements, including if he were President, Secretary Clinton would be in jail!

One would have to be wearing blinders and earplugs to not understand the meaning behind such a statement had to do with her alleged actions involving thousands of confidential government emails and perhaps non-actions involving the deaths @ Benghazi.  (The sale of uranium to Russia and the misdeeds of The Clinton Foundation notwithstanding!)

But depending on your party affiliation, you might choose to make Mr. Trump dictatorial and conclude his statement was a blanket declaration to imprison all those who differ with his policies.

And ignore the crimes of your own candidate.

Of course, as oft repeated by Bill O’Reilly*, holding up another’s bad acts do not serve to justify one’s own!

“THEY did it!, so I get to!”

*I used to enjoy watching Mr. O’Reilly, until he began parsing the Second Amendment and stating ‘assault weapons’ (whatever THEY are) should be banned.  Then, I stopped watching him.  I view him as a populist, saying what ‘the people’ want to hear (not unlike Mr. Trump.  Huey Long?).  Except, O’Reilly has slightly better filter than Mr. Trump!)

 

Decency And Character

Yep.  I’m speaking of the recent dustup of things long-time ago said by candidates.

Mr. Trump has been recorded using language that might have originated in a high school locker room.  As has Secretary Clinton (at least in print).  And her husband.  And Jack Kennedy.

And, The President.

Use (or non-use) of such language, of course, is not a qualification for The Presidency.

My question is, what ever happened to the character of individuals?  Used to be persons with character aspired to be The President.  Washington, Jefferson and John Adams come to mind.  All persons of character.  Each very different.  (Yes, I know Washington and Jefferson owned slaves…)

They were human.  I suspect they might have uttered socially-inappropriate language in private moments.

But they rose to the challenge to move this Constitutional Republic forward.

I don’t see that in any of the current of recent candidates.

Now, it’s reported by the Clinton’s that they have victims of rape by Mr. Trump coming forward!  Seriously?  Not only is the timing questionable, but the whole pot-kettle thing!

I know politics by it’s very nature is dirty.  Regardless:

I weep for The Republic.

Victorian Glock?

The brilliant and beautiful Tamara (one of my ubiquitous Blogmothers ™) has regaled us almost daily with her ‘torture’ tests of various models of Glock pistol and kinds of ammunition.  As well as her opinion regarding gunsmithing modification and after-market parts.

Complete with specific counts regarding misfeeds, faulty ignition, ejection and the like.

And for this (and many other tidbits) we are forever grateful!  🙂

But, it got me to thinking (I know, a dangerous concept…)

Back-in-the-day, when I purchased MY Glocks (models 19,30,26, which sadly, I no longer have.), my intent was to acquire a machine that was sufficient for the task at hand out of the box.  The ONLY modifications I made were installation of tritium night sights (if they didn’t come pre-installed), because that seemed appropriate for a handgun chosen primarily for self-defense.

And the school of thought at the time was something akin to ‘well, you can’t replace the stocks, the sights are okay (now that they glow-in-the-dark)’.  What could I do further?  Perhaps have a NY trigger installed?’  There was not a lot of tweaking even available.

This definitely NOT your great grandfather’s service pistol, the venerable 1911, designed 80 years earlier with 51 (or 53) parts (versus the Glock’s 32).  A precision Victorian pocket watch versus a digital.

But, my friends, it does appear we have turned the corner.  There are now numerous after-market parts for the Glock, and even modification including grinding-upon and remolding the frame!

Seems we just cannot leave well enough alone!

glock mods

Perhaps tinkering is just part of being human?

T.M.I.

Much of the Internet Vanguard (Borepatch, The Silicon Graybeard et al) have chided us for years regarding not just the intrusion of government and business into lives, but our voluntarily providing too much information to them – like posting when you are leaving for vacation on Facebook.

Well, my friends, Internet intrusion has indeed jumped the shark! (or perhaps a more adult euphemism!)

(from Wirecutter, in part)

A woman is suing her (appliance name excised for taste) manufacturer for knowing too much about when and how she uses it.

A few weeks ago, two researchers told the Defcon hacking convention audience that We Vibe “smart” sex toys send a lot of data about their users back to the company that makes them. According to Courthouse News, one We Viber took this news hard. A woman known only as “N.P.” filed a class action civil suit in a federal court in Illinois against Standard Innovation, which makes the We Vibe line of sex toys and corresponding app.

The smartphone app lets users “customize” their We Vibe experience, unlock app-only “bonus” vibration modes such as the “cha-cha-cha” and the “crest,” and “create unlimited custom playlists,” according to the product’s website. In the suit, N.P. says she bought a We Vibe in May and used it “several times” until she realized that it was sending data about her usage practices back to Standard Innovation’s servers, including when she used it, which vibration settings she used, and her email address.
MORE

And here I was concerned about license plate readers, facial identity programs and grocery store purchase trackers!

YIKES!

She obviously thought she was the master of her domain*, anonymously…

*a Seinfeld reference

Barbarians At The Gate

are nothing new!

(courtesy of Bobbi, in part, from her musings on 9/11…)

     Barbarians of one stripe or another had been after blowing up highly-visible stuff in the States for a good long while — a Federal building in Oklahoma City, a van-bomb at the World Trade center, and so on back to the 1886 Haymarket bombing in Chicago.  There’s no shortage of fools who think blowing up innocent people is a suitable method to effect change.

It’s not.  It’s been shown to produce nothing but death, injury and anger.  And we’ve now got the TSA bringing miniature, audience-participation versions of the Stanford Prison Experiment to every passenger airport in the country.

Here’s what I can tell you: when violent people initiate force against the innocent, more people step up to stop them (Flight 93), to help the victims (police and firefighters at the World Trade Center and Pentagon), and they do not count the personal cost; they step up.  Civilization is stronger than barbarism.  It is not destroyed from the outside.

So remember the heroes, probably none of whom felt especially heroic in the moment.  Remember the people who do what needs doing.  And don’t kid yourself that it won’t happen again.

Considering we remain at ‘war’ (in one degree or another) against these forces (both foreign and domestic) after 15 years, it’s good to hear that while said barbarians keep testing (and sometimes breaching) the fences, there are folks out there who continue to step up to do the task at hand.  Thank you, Roberta, for reminding us.

Three quotes come to mind:

While it may be apocryphal, Winston Churchill is often quoted as having said (supposedly paraphrasing Orwell) “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  (John 15:13)

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”  –  General George S. Patton

 

 

♫ Feelings ♫, Part Dos

I, generally, want the government to leave people alone.  If you think you are really a six-legged otter, and not a human, go ahead.

Be happy in your delusion.

Just don’t bother ME with it, or petition the government to mandate some kind of accommodation for all six-legged otter thinking people!

Just because you feel you are a woman inside a man’s body – or vice versa – doesn’t mean you are.  I’m a big believer in scientific evidence.  If you can show your chromosomal makeup is somehow skewed, then please, get help!  Have surgery and counseling.  Be who nature intended you to be.

BUT, if your opinion is just based on HOW YOU FEEL – also, seek help.  Don’t force others to join you in your fantasy, however.

Although popular culture and many of the leading media organizations have bought wholeheartedly into the idea that gender identity is something distinct from one’s biological sex — that a man could be born in a woman’s body or vice versa — such beliefs have no grounding in any credible scientific evidence, according to a report published Monday in the journal The New Atlantis.

Arizona State University professor of statistics and biostatistics Lawrence S. Mayer and John Hopkins University Medical School professor of psychiatrics Paul McHugh co-authored the report, which examined top peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences.

“Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence,” they noted.

Sounds as if many of these folks have ‘issues’.  Please seek help.
h/t Free North Carolina

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…