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The Universe Plays A Joke On Government

Most of you regular readers know I HATE giving the government money.  Doing so burns my libertarian soul.

I’m still driving Ol'(insert old-timey lady name here), my 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue.  Basically, because I’ve no other choice.  And, it’s registration involuntary ownership tax time again.

With the precursor of emissions testing.

(I always stop here to remember how the State legislator who forced through the emissions testing requirement soon left the legislature to work for the contractor who obtained the initial contract.  No dirty politics here, no sir!  :-))

ANYWAY…

I arrive just after the testing station opens and find I’m second in line.  I’m a little worried, as my car sometimes stalls at idle, and sometimes the pollution control gimmick sticks in the engine and dashboard warning lights illuminate.  Getting tested with dash lights on is a no-no!  They’ve not come on in a few weeks, so I feel they are due.

I pull up when ordered, exit the vehicle, the guy does his testing, and she PASSES!

HUZZAH!

I re-enter the vehicle and crank her to start and leave, as instructed…

AND THERE IS A BACKFIRE!  THE TESTING STATION (AND MY CAR INTERIOR) FILLS WITH SMOKE!  But, as the car is running (and there is no obvious fire or dash warning lights), I drive away victorious!

And return home (after depositing appropriate gift funds to cover costs) and pay on-line to obtain my State license tags for yet another two years!

(To those of you who help me pay to keep my car registered and insured – I salute you!)

And to the State, who forces me to go through this nonsense every couple years to extort revenue from me – you already received my salute!

bronx

GERDS Of A Feather

I’ve been prowling this Internet thing since the early 90’s.  (Remember dial-up? *shudders*)

It still amazes me how it can connect people from all walks of life, from all over the world.

I remember surfing bulletin boards on the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and found some guys in Finland.  They found out I was American, and told me to go away!

I posted a few days ago about yet another medical adventure.  This time with my upper GI tract.  Seems I have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) – aka acid reflux damage to my esophagus.

I chalked it up to getting older and poor diet.  Whined about it and forgot.  (I’ve a tendency to post stuff, then forget about what I posted – as if I needed to get it out of my head.  Must be a writer(?)

The other day, I get a gift and nice note from a regular reader (who knew I had those?) whose reason was we both suffer from the same affliction!

Other people have sent me – and even brought me – gifts of money, ammo, and even single malt Scotch!

Sometimes, I feel unloved and forgotten…

FRIENDS, and the Internet are wonderful things!

THANK YOU!

Beer

From my friend Borepatch:

We live in the best of all possible worlds

Stay thirsty, my friends:

I will leave you with one note of optimism, from Mark Perry.  I went to college in the nadir (1980) of the American beer industry, where a small oligopoly of mediocre beer producers was protected by government legislation.  It was a classic example of how regulation drives monopoly, consolidation, and loss of choice.  With deregulation, the American beer industry has exploded.
beer1

I don’t drink beer as often as I’d like.  1)  It costs money, and 2)  being diabetic with weight ‘issues’, beer is probably not the best choice for a beverage.  For me.

This doesn’t mean I don’t like it!

Thankfully, when I do imbibe, I don’t repeat my college years, wherein if I wasn’t scheduled to work or be in class, I had a can in my hand.  As did many of us.

A friend would stop by.  “Hey, wanna beer?”

These days it’s more diet soda, or coffee.  Or even water.  And it’s in a glass bottle or draught!  Canned is for the uncouth – or poor college students!  Glass just tastes better.

Borepatch, on multiple occasions, has stated he would like to buy me a beer.

I hope one day we can do that, BP!

And I can buy one for you.

(A belated mention – National Beer Day was April 7.  The anniversary of the end of Prohibition.  I did imbibe that day.  In honor of the end of government oppression and control.  Perhaps one day there will be a National Freedom Day?)

In Memoriam

Molly birthday1Our daughter Molly, at her 12th Birthday Party

Twenty six days before the accident

I’m so much better a man for having known her.

I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU!

Well, Here We Are, Again*

4 yearsToday is the FOURTH ANNIVERSARY of my writing (or submitting stolen borrowed content) for this blog.

I’ve posted something DAILY, along with a quote, a cartoon, a picture of a beauty, and a You Tube clip, EVERY DAY FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS!

Currently at 285,831 hits; 355 followers!

And, much to my continued surprise and delight, have not only attracted followers, but made friends!  Some of whom have communicated with me off-line, and sent money and gifts I probably don’t deserve.  And some with whom I’ve had the privilege of sending lead downrange!

You guys are amazing!

My BLOG MOTHERS™ (including Tam and Brigid) whose own postings spurred me on to blogging, are a great joy!  And terrific friends.

A special thank you to Borepatch, Murphy’s Law and Rev. Paul.  Without whom, etc.

I plan on continuing to annoy, confound, confuse and disturb for at least another year.

(Or until the powers-that-be decide I need muzzling!)

This weblog remains a work-in-progress.  As such, I’ve edited out some of the Usual Suspects who appear to be no longer blogging.  If I’ve done so in error or you have a new link, please advise.  My apologies.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED FRIENDSHIP AND SUPPORT!

*my very first blog post was so entitled Well, Here We Are…

(and very sharp folks will recognize I should have posted this yesterday!)

A Machine Gun Theme Park?

Indeed!  :-)

Orlando, Florida – (in)famous for it’s theme parks – has added yet another.

But this is not in the Disney Family…

Inside Orlando’s First MACHINE GUN Theme Park!

Shooting simulation experiences start are $30 but tickets to shoot real weapons start at $99 and up depending the type of gun you choose to shoot.

“A traditional bulls-eye is our most popular target followed by Osama bin Laden.”  – Dan Shalloway, owner of Machine Gun America

Frankly, I like the inclusion of the word FIRST in the article’s title.

(And NO, FTC, they didn’t give me anything to post the article.)

h/t Doc in Yuma

Life Is Loss, Part Two – A Lesson Learned

I posted a few days ago regarding losses – specifically the loss of my daughter, and a good friend’s loss of most of his lower left leg and foot.

Hardly an upbeat read.

However, Life is not just loss.  Life also gives us lessons!

Since I heard from my good friend Bob regarding his diabetic amputation surgery, I’ve tried to contact him.  We exchanged texts initially a couple of times, and he advise me he would call.

Nothing.

I feared the worst.

So, I took it upon myself to call him.  Not to incessantly badger him (thinking he was busy enough) but once a week, just to check-in on him and his condition.  And attitude.

And I ended up leaving messages.  And this concerned me.

Bob returned yesterday’s message last night.  I needn’t have been concerned.

Bob – (my former PI and gun store boss) was in great spirits!  YES, he did lose his left foot and about 12″ of lower leg.  And yes, he has a long, painful recovery and rehab ahead.

But he was not only doing physically well – he was doing well emotionally and spiritually, too!

Now, Bob would be the first to tell you he is not a religious guy.  And not the most spiritual.  But he almost lost his life to sepsis, and took his survival to mean he is supposed to remain here a while longer.

And not wallow in his losses.

He is fortunate to have the great support of his wife and two daughters.  And his brother.  And he reminded of previous losses and near-death experiences he has suffered.

AND HE SEES THIS AS YET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF!

Or, in the words of his parents (both deceased), “Put on your big boy panties and get on with it!”

And his is and has.

And, he reminded me (indirectly) that I have similar lessons.  I, too, have had losses, and near-death experiences.  And I have wallowed.  Or more specifically whined.

I might lose some benefits.  So what?  Big boy panties are available for the wearing.

Bob has set an example for me to try and emulate.

Starting now.

Residency Requirements Struck Down!

Go Rick Go!“We” score a Victory – and Alan too!
Civil Rights UpdateOpinion in PDF via InstaPundit

From the CONCLUSION:

Accordingly, the Court DECLARES that 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(3), 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(3), and 27 C.F.R. § 478.99(a) are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing these provisions. The Court will issue its final judgment separately.

SO ORDERED on this 11th day of February, 2015.

[Emphasis in the original]

Related:

Civil Right Victory in Federal CourtShall Not Be Questioned
Win in Court!, Breaking NewsMaddened Fowl
Ban on FFL handguns sales to nonresidents struck down!Of Arms & the Law

Courtesy of Not Clauswitz et al

In English  – Non-residents may now purchase firearms in Texas, and presumably anywhere else it is legal.

Could removal of ridiculous restrictions on citizens BE any cooler?  – Chandler Bing

Of course, this was from a federal district court.  And as the bloggers above suspect, until there is an edict from the BATFE, I don’t see much of this kind of activity.

I see a Supreme Court battle in our future.

Stepin’ Fetchit Meet Myra Breckinridge

from Never Yet Melted (in part):

Rodrigo Kazuo and Meg Perret found their classroom environment at Berkeley hostile, even when their professor was lecturing on Karl Marx (!), because the Western canon is exclusively composed of works by dead, white, European males, not a single person of color or transgendered individual makes the cut.

Because a majority of founders of Western thought were gay, Black women…

Sigh.

BTW, have you noticed more ‘persons of color’, homosexual, transgendered or perhaps gender-confused folks in your favorite television shows of movies?

I have.

NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.

I remember my Father (who had some bigotry issues) railing against the infusion of Black folks in 60’s and 70’s TV in much the same way.  He said it was much the same in the 40’s and 50’s with Jewish people.  They went from being 3% of the population, to a significant minority of those in entertainment media.  (He, of course, forgot that the only work many Jewish folks could get was in the entertainment field!)

And it was much the same with Black folks.  13% of the population, but represented numerically larger in the entertainment media in the 70’s.

NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.

My questions are these:  Does the actor bring quality to the role, or further the plot?  Or were they just added because of political correctness?

And now we have this infusion of gay/transgender etc. folks.  Some are quite entertaining, but in my humble opinion, some are just over-the-top.  And included for shock effect and/or political correctness.

Which does a disservice both to them in their sexuality or color, and to the audience by their inclusion for political reasons.

Stepin’ Fetchit meet Myra Breckenridge.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some folks I find clever, and entertaining, regardless of ethnicity or bent.  Others are just plain annoying.  I won’t give you specifics – you probably have your own.

A couple generations ago, Black people were largely invisible, or stereotyped, and gays (etc.) were just flamboyant characters.  No mention was made of their sexuality.

But now it seems we’re out of the box, for certain.

There’s a popular cable series about polygamy.

What’s next, pedophilia and bestiality?

Where do we go from here?

We should be inclusive of different cultures and sexuality.  As long as it reflects percentages and social mores.

Of course, I’m a libertarian.  (Until mandated) I can always change the channel.

You Remember How I Love Character Actors?

I also love to hear when they are still alive, and kicking!  So often when I hear about them, it’s in an obit, or an almanac mention of years ago, when they passed young.

Then, last night I came across THIS on Facebook:

l storch 92Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a birthday photo (yesterday, with cake) of LARRY STORCH at age 92 (today)!  Those unfamiliar with Mr. Storch by name might remember Corporal Agarn in F-Troop, or the Maharishi presiding over the funeral in Blake Edwards’ S.O.B., or a wonderfully inept criminal in an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour.  Or the voice of Mr. Whoopee in his life long friend Don Adams’ cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LARRY!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LARRY!

So glad you are still with us, Larry!  And such a rich life…(link)

"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.

Certified EVIL!

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

Penn Jillette

“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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All original content on this web site is copyright (c) on date of publication by this author. All rights reserved, except that others may quote from the original content under the 'Fair Use' provisions of U.S. copyright law.

Financial Disclosure

I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

In Loving Memory…

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