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Walking In A German W(u)onderland!

I’ve always liked miniature stuff.  (Insert rude joke here)  H-O train sets when I was a kid; stuff near impossible to make tiny.  My ex spent many years crafting dioramas of rooms, scenes from antique homes, complete with carpet, furniture and art.  All to scale.  Not in my skill set.

I marvel at people’s ability to craft such things.  Perhaps because I was never any good at it.

A friend pointed me to this You Tube video of a German marvel that is becoming a major tourist attraction:

This tiny wonder brings millions to Hamburg, Germany every year!  And is constantly be added to and tweaked.

I suspect I’ll never get to see Europe, but, THIS would definitely be on my itinerary, were I to go.

(Well, this and BEER!  :-) )

h/t Judy

Because MAD MEN…(NSFW)

The last and final SEVEN episodes start tonight!

Because JOAN HOLLOWAY!

(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.

Death Of The Cinema

dvdI remember as a child, the whole fam damly (as it was sometimes described) being shuffled into the station wagon, and off to the movies!  Usually, a drive in theater.  They were ubiquitous, and readily available in the Arizona weather.  Much of the time, they were an extension of the TV-as-babysitter, translation:  put the boy in from of a moving picture and he’ll go out like a light!

Then later in my youth, being dropped off at a Saturday afternoon matinee, with a friend or two, and funds for goodies – what a way to get them out of the house and from under foot.  The only rule was call when the movie let out (translation:  make certain you had a dime left from that fiver!)

Being a self-described child of TV, when gadget-addict friend Bob P. (one of the many Bobs) announced he had a videotape player/recorder, I knew something was beginning to change.  This Magnavox machine took VHS tapes, but no standard had yet to be decided upon, and tapes made upon it wouldn’t play on later standardized VHS machines!  It also had vacuum tubes as part of it’s construction, weighed a ton, and cost about $1000 (in 1975 dollars)!

Thus began the slow decline as technology continued to develop, and people began renting Beta and VHS tapes, (remember Laserdiscs?) then DIVX, then DVD, and now can see many movies/TV shows via the Internet and BlueRay.

And the audience figured out that while the kids used to hang out in the back of the Vista Cruiser in their jammies, and the adults dressed up to go to the theater, it was just more convenient for all to stay in the living room in their jammies.  (Or boxer shorts, in the case of my Dad.)

And cheaper.

And you didn’t have to trudge across a gravel-laden parking lot in the dark to a grimy snack bar restroom, either.

And while the drive ins have mostly faded away, now the indoor theaters are as well.  Few want to pay $15+ each for a seat, plus another $20 for drinks and snacks, when they can watch Netflix or Amazon at home in their skivvies.

Another childhood dream of a secret agent meeting place in an nearly empty theater is going away.

And teenaged fantasies of making out (or more) in Dad’s station wagon now have to be redirected.

Declining Theater Attendance @ a 20 Year Low

h/t Flavorwire

(FTC – Magnavox, Amazon and Netflix have given me nothing!)

♫ Unremarkable ♫

That’s what we are. ♫  (with apologies to the late, great Nat King Cole)

From Caleb @ Gun Nuts:

Carrying a gun does not make me special. It doesn’t make me different, it doesn’t make me a sheepdog, and it shouldn’t be treated like an occasion. The act of every day concealed carry should be no more interesting or dramatic than the act of buckling your seatbelt, washing your hands during flu season, or changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.

(…)

Stop treating CCW like it’s special. It’s not. You’re just carrying the most effective tool available to defend yourself from violence. It’s a fire extinguisher. There’s nothing special about keeping a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink. I want owning and carrying a Glock 19 to have the same level of remarkableness as owning a Toyota Camry.

You should really go to the link above and read Caleb’s entire editorial.

He is correct, of course.  Unless you are military, spec ops, civilian police or private security, you are NOT a sheepdog, superhero or James Bond.  You are just a piece of flotsam out there taking some responsibility for your own protection.  Good for you (as far as that goes) but your adrenaline and bp shouldn’t go up just because you gear up.

Putting on an IWB holster should be no different than picking up your keys or clipping your folding knife in your pocket!

There is no big red S on your chest.

not superman

Wishin’ And Hopin’

Being on minimal disability, I cannot afford to ‘do much’.

This is not a bleg for money (although your kind generosity IS appreciated), but rather an observation.  An expression of lust.

Regular readers know I’ve a beater car, that sometime runs w/o dashboard warning lights on.  Or not.  With no A/C.  In AZ.  I rent a room from a good friend, because I lost my home of 18 years due to my reduction in income on disability.

Yes, I’m fortunate and grateful!  Seriously.

And, the Internet and television are my portals to the outside world.  Women (did I say I’m single divorced?), guns, cars.  All for my viewing pleasure.

Only.

And I’m generally okay with this arrangement.

But today, something caught my attention.  No, not a vehicle.  Not a woman (surprised?)

But THIS:

texas-borde-special-colt-lightweight-commander-45ACP-Baranti-Tol-Dawson-holster-sheriff-jim-wilson-LO-600x450I’ve always wanted a Texas Border rig, such as this.  With an appropriate BBQ gun – I’m certain Sheriff Jim Wilson doesn’t want to part with his (above), though.

Of course, this is wrong-sided.

I’ve no place to wear it, anyway (would probably sell it to get the A/C in my car repaired!)

Sigh.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill Needs Your Support!

It’s a problem as fresh as today’s headlines.

A Pennsylvania woman with a concealed carry license drives over the New Jersey line with a gun in her car.  In a routine traffic stop, she is arrested and charged for violating New Jersey’s unconstitutional gun laws. Only a national campaign saves her from a decade in prison.

And that’s just the point:  In an era where states like New York and California use draconian and labyrinthine gun laws in order to try to outlaw guns by fiat, a legal gun owner shouldn’t risk a life behind bars because he or she drives across a state line into a socialist-leaning state.

A Floridian shouldn’t live in fear of a move that takes him through New York, or a Virginian, of a trip through Maryland.

So it is good news that, after a campaign that has lasted for over a decade, we are now within striking range of passing reciprocity legislation that is friendly to citizens living in constitutional carry states.

Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) has told Gun Owners of America that he will be introducing this reciprocity bill within the next few weeks.  This bill will prohibit states like New York and California from cancelling the Second Amendment rights of Americans from other states. 

If you have a concealed carry permit — or if you come from a freedom-loving state that doesn’t require one — you can carry anywhere in the country without fear of losing your constitutional rights because of where you are.

With six constitutional carry states — and at least four other states which may pass those laws this year — the Stutzman bill is a particularly important contrast to competing bills which would require states like Vermont to change their pro-gun laws in order to benefit.

Now, we know that some of our members would argue:  “Why shouldn’t principles of federalism allow states to spit on the Second Amendment if they want to?”  We respect this view, but respectfully disagree.  Gun grabbers have no problem creating national rules to take away our Second Amendment rights, irrespective of what we do.  So it’s time they were hoisted on their own petard.

In addition, the Supreme Court (correctly) ruled in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) that the reach of the Second Amendment extends beyond just the federal government and applies to all 50 states.

In this landmark decision, the Court noted (approvingly) that anti-gun Justice Stephen Breyer was “correct that incorporation of the Second Amendment right will to some extent limit the legislative freedom of the States, but this is always true when a Bill of Rights provision is incorporated.” (p. 44)

Why are we so optimistic about Stutzman?  The answer is that we now have a filibuster-proof majority to pass it in the Senate — if we can get the new GOP leadership to give us the opportunity to offer it as an amendment to a must-pass bill. 

ACTIONContact your Representative.  Ask him or her to call Congressman Stutzman and sign up as an original cosponsor to the Stutzman “constitutional carry” friendly reciprocity bill.

Of course, in a perfect World, all freemen would be able to carry whatever they want anywhere, with impunity.  Riding their unicorns into the sunset.  –  Guffaw

h/t Gun Owners of America

“I’m A Prepper – He’s A Prepper…!”

OH!  A PREPPER!

I misheard…:-)

Mad Ogre recently expounded upon the concept, not just of being a prepper, but of being a dark prepper.

In part:

c/o Uprising USA.
Here’s the plan.
1.  Secure your HQ.
2.  Secure your local area.
3.  Secure your People.  Your Friends, Family, Loved ones… Those that may need help.  Elderly, Young, Infirm.  Make sure everyone is okay and has what they need to survive.
Now here’s where it gets gnarly…
4.  Secure additional assets and supplies to insure longevity.  Food, Medicines, other supplies and equipment.

Now comes the Dark part.

Now where I differ from the truly Dark, is that I would not use force on those that have the assets we’d be looking for.   Force would be only to defend.   This is all pretty clearly laid out in Uprising USA.  Moving further, in Uprising UK, there is a scene where assets were taken unknowingly from another survivor who hid when they came to get it.  When it was discovered that someone had a claim of ownership to the property, the person was fairly and justly compensated for what had been taken and an amiable conclusion was reached.

So really, maybe, I am not a Dark Prepper.  Just a humble procurer of that which sustains life… an amicable prepper.  A beneficent prepper.  A Magnanimous prepper…(end)

Are YOU prepping (in any sense of the word?)  Are you a DARK prepper?  How far are you willing to go to secure sustainability for you and your family and friends?

Or is this all just largely a mental exercise masturbation, a self-stroking cycle of like-minded folk, who like to play in the netherworld of TEOTWAWKI*?

Or is this about reasonableness?  Preparedness?  For natural disaster, fire, earthquake, hurricane?

And perhaps even extreme political disaster – like the monetary system failing and/or martial law being imposed?

Civil war?

As for me, I cannot afford to prep, much.  I was once – during Y2K.  The lady I was seeing, and her son had supplies, and arms.  And security.  And nothing happened.

Since that time, I’ve become disabled, and had to sell stuff.  And some of it was stolen.

But, I do have a couple firearms, and ammunition.  I figure that’s a good start.

The question remains, am I a DARK PREPPER?

The future will tell.

 

*TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It

 

Whither Thou Blog?

The latest meme in the blogosphere is regarding blogging.  Or rather discontinuing blogging.  I first saw it on Roberta X‘s blog, later on Rev. Paul‘s.

Essentially, it describes a kind of malaise.

Why blog anymore?

Between Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook*, blogging is being re-defined as the ‘buggy whip’ of social media.  Who blogs, anymore?  I mean really…

For me, it returns me to why I began blogging in the first place, and what I expected to get out of it.

I began blogging because it gave me something constructive with which to waste my time.  A personal daily discipline.  And the ability to share my politics, philosophy and history with family and friends.  I had no expectations then, and certainly don’t now.  And have been met with a wonderful community of friends I didn’t know I had until I began blogging!  Some of whom have become friends and confidants off the Internet.  In the real world.

Many folks have voluntarily or involuntarily removed themselves from the blogosphere since I began.  And that saddens me.  It means time is passing, and people have removed themselves from our lives.  That is their choice.  Or Fate’s.

Guffaw, your humble blogger, will continue blogging.  At least for the time being.

Weather permitting.  :-)  (“They’ll be a rain dance, Friday night.  Weather permitting.” – George Carlin, The Indian Sergeant)  See, there’s always guffaw in there, somewhere.  :-)

*Facebook – Guffaw is on FB, in his real name.  But, the more I blog, the less I am there.  Guess I’m doing this backwards(?)

Lock-Picking For Fun And Profit!

lock picks

similar to mine, without the leather case!

(Disclaimer:   I-in no way-endorse illegal activities of any kind.  If you are reading this in a correctional facility (and are not staff) you should probably disconnect before the guards are alerted to your activities!  They generally have no sense of humor! – Guffaw)

From The Art of Manliness…

An Introduction to Lock Picking: How to Pick Pin Tumbler Locks (link)

Why You Should Learn How to Pick Locks (Even If You’re Not a Criminal)

Some of you might be thinking, “Brett, why should I learn how to pick a lock if I don’t plan on breaking into people’s homes?”

Great question.

There are a few good reasons why law-abiding citizens should learn how to pick a lock:

Lock picking opens your eyes to the “illusion of security.”

It makes you handy.

It’s cool and fun!

When I was a private investigator/security supervisor for P**M**, my boss and I decided it would be appropriate (cool) for each of us to obtain a set of commercial lock picks.  Pretty much for the reasons listed above.  We went to a commercial lock supply store, presented our P.I. credentials and each bought a set.  Then, we returned to the office and spent the rest of the afternoon locking and unlocking the exterior door of the office.

YES, we were both ‘adults’ at the time.

Of course, just like the PIs of yore, we had guns, binoculars and tape recorders, and thought this would be another (cool) tool for our arsenal.

IN THE REAL WORLD, I only used them once.  At my own home.  Because burglary IS a felony!

I still have them, tucked away somewhere.

But, in my mind, I have the voice of Thomas Magnum, “Work the lock, don’t look behind you!  Work the lock, don’t look behind you!”

They really do open one’s eyes to the “illusion of security”, though.  Not all burglars are opportunistic, door-shaking street kids – some actually have skills!  If you have something worth protecting, make certain you’ve enough good obstacles ( e.g. quality locks) to make the criminal go somewhere else!

Five Principles of Conservatism

Bill Whittle’s latest Afterburner…

Being a conservative libertarian (and a fan of Kevin Baker), I found this of interest.

YRMV

h/t The Smallest Minority

"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.

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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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