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Life

It’s a cereal; it’s a board game.  A defunct television series.

It also is what it is.

My favorite line from the James Bond books, is ‘M’ (the head of MI-6, Admiral Sir Miles Meservy) telling Bond when he complains about receiving an assignment change, “Things change, 007.”

M

‘M’

And that might be one definition of Life.  Things changing.

Of course, the best part are the good changes – grand nieces ascending from 6th Grade, and another graduating High School.  Others having birthdays.  A dear friend’s birthdays and their elder daughter getting her doctorate!

The bad?

That dear friend (Bob Hall) being unable to be present for his daughter’s doctoral degree.

Daily dealing with issues regarding aging, illness and finances – both my roommate and I.

Friends, relatives and acquaintances becoming severely ill.  Some almost certainly in their way out, others hanging-in-there, but…?

And some already gone.  More than I ever expected.

Even some leaving voluntarily, but still present.  Apparently, friends no longer.  :-(

“Things change, Guffaw.”

I haven’t needed a fictional intelligence department head to tell me.

I already know.

Things are as they are.

This just in. Ray Carter passed this morning.
Puts my whining in perspective.

It’s Official…

I’ve been ‘disabled’ since I was age 12.  Legg Calve’ Perthes disease destroyed the cartilage and bone in my right hip, and was starting to attack my other hip and both knees.  After much failed experimentation, ‘they’ were able to stop the advancement.  ‘They’ decided the best course of action was to cast me, fusing my right leg at the hip.  In 1966.

So my right leg is substantially shorter than my left, and fused at the hip.

I’ve lived my life this way.  I’m used to it.

And, anyway, a hip replacement is elective and expensive.

In spite of this (in my youth), I ran, played, jogged, walked, took Kenpo karate, lifted weights…all manner of things!

Sadly, this disability kept me from joining the military or becoming a cop.  Childhood dreams dashed.

But, in spite of my limitations, I never felt, well, disabled.

Yes, sometimes ‘it’ got in the way (like needing leg room to drive – straight leg, and all), but it never kept me from most things.  I usually avoided wearing ‘Ed Sullivan-the really big shoe’* when I was younger, because I thought it made me look crippled.  Which I was.

And I rarely felt sorry for myself.  Well, sometimes.

But Life brought the addition of a serious car accident, diabetes and lymphoma, all potentially more lethal.

And Diffuse Type B Cell Lymphoma is listed as the ‘official’ reason for my Social Security Disability Income.

As of age 58.

And I am still here, now approaching age 64.  Wearing ‘Ed’ more often.

My roommate J. has been having her own health issues for many years.  They needn’t be enumerated here. Surgery pending on some.  Suffice it to say we don’t get to gun shows much, anymore.  Too much walking.

😦

But she never asked for one of those disabled mirror hangers!  I obtained one a while back, and we kept in in her car, as she does most of the driving, her car being in better shape then mine.

She finally remembered to ask her primary care doc for the form to get one!  And got hers!

This meant I got to have and use mine for the first time the other day!

20160521_085240

It’s official – I’m a gimp!

*Ed Sullivan was an entertainment reporter who hosted a TV variety show, from 1948-1971.  He would announce he had a really big show, but pronounced it as shoe – hence the pun.

 

Gender Inequality

…or at least equal opportunity for yuck!

I’m speaking about equal opportunity for MEN here.

I’ve been taking out the trash and the garbage my entire life!  Or, at least since I was able to walk, lift and receive an allowance.

My sister?  Nope.  And SHE, too, received an allowance.

Why the disparity?  I AM MALE!

Don’t you know – IT’S THE JOB OF THE MAN (OR BOY) TO TAKE OUT THE TRASH!

How do we know this?  Every woman – starting with my Mother and stepmother – said so!

And subsequent girlfriends and even the (now ex) wife!

And currently my female roommate!

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

Everyone in the house makes trash and garbage.  I don’t mind sharing the duty necessary to get it to the dumpster.  But, when did it become solely the purview of the MALE?

I tried the argument that if there were gender-specific jobs that she should take care of the house and make the meals and do the wash.

That didn’t go over so well…

And I also received the counter-argument that they had to suffer childbirth and other things feminine.  As if I created women to be that way!

garbage rights

It’s an argument with a woman.

Men lose, automatically.

Survivalism Is Not Necessarily Ludditism

Joel writes:

Things that aren’t necessities but may as well be

61S3ZUWlhAL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_
I have a book that a reader sent me a year or two ago – and I apologize but I don’t remember who sent it – It’s about a guy who took it into his head to semi-retire into the Alaskan outback, near or above the Arctic circle. You know, just go out there and build a cabin and live.

Now, that’s more-or-less the plot of Into the Wild, and I think we know how that story turned out. But this older guy, Richard Proenneke, wasn’t some overindulged and suicidally starry-eyed kid. He was an old Alaska hand and actually knew what he was doing. He built a cabin that was a literal work of art – after he got old and retired from retiring, it became a tourist attraction for really hardy tourists. It makes the Secret Lair look like a particularly disreputable shed. And he made nearly every part of it from native wood or stone or bone – hell, he carved wooden door hinges.

Every single thing he had that he couldn’t make himself had to be flown in on a little bush plane and it could only happen a few months out of the year, so space and weight were real factors. And I was looking at the photographs reproduced in the book – Proenneke was a photographer, and my only complaint about the book is there aren’t enough photographs – and in one shot of the cabin’s interior I saw…a roll of paper towels.

And I had me a chuckle. Now, here’s a package of six paper towel rolls, which I just bought today…
IMG_1322
It doesn’t weigh hardly anything, of course, but it’s bulky as hell. I suppose you could open the package and distribute the rolls around the plane, but my point is that if it needs to come by bush plane, you’d have to really want that roll of paper towels. Seems like there are more important things to which you could devote that plane space.

Except maybe there aren’t. When I was first alone out here, experimenting with ways to make due with virtually no income and really studying the difference between a want and a need, I learned that the line between the two is not always clear. Some commodities, while of course you can get along without them in the sense that you won’t actually die, are themselves so useful that it almost doesn’t matter. It’s not a question of life and death, it’s a question of quality of life. Indoor plumbing: Have I ever wasted a moment wishing I hadn’t devoted all that precious Lair space to an indoor toilet? Nope, not so much as a millisecond. To the best of my knowledge, and leaving poisonous spiders out of it, nobody ever died from using an outhouse as I originally planned. But a flush toilet is just such a massive improvement that, if you’ve got the water pressure, only an idiot would decide not to go ahead and dig for a septic system. Electricity’s the same way: Not a necessity of life, but look at all the things it makes possible.

Those are big things. There’s a myriad of little ones, like paper towels. It’s good to pay attention and learn what those things are, because it’s the little things that mark the difference between living and just surviving.

PAY ATTENTION – my personal motto.

I’ve found in my years that had I paid attention (or more attention) perhaps things would have turned our better or differently.  Perhaps not.

But almost always were worse for having not done so.

Today’s Lesson: Read The Fine Print

scottWhen I moved in with J. (a good friend and ex-gf ) over three years ago! (Where does the time go?  “Cleveland!” – G. Carlin), she noticed we prefer different brands of TP.

She likes the girly, soft stuff, promoted by cartoon bears.  I prefer coarser grit stuff, like Scott Tissue.  And, when I can afford to, I purchase it in 12-packs (above). (I know, TMI)

And there is a small coupon for points toward something free on the package.  School Supplies, I think.  One of J’s customers is a schoolteacher, and has need for such things.

So J. asked me to collect the coupons for her friend.

And I did, as much of a PITA doing so was (no pun intended)…

After I had collected YEARS of these things, I presented J. with the bundle.  Turns out about HALF had expired!  I hadn’t noticed there was an EXPIRATION DATE on them!  :-(

I failed to read the fine print!

So, here it is Tax Time.  Regular readers know I am loathe to giving the government money, especially taxes! As oft happens, I just file under-the-wire.  I call myself Last Minute Louie.

And for the past couple of years, I’ve been using Tax Act software.  I used to use Turbo Tax, but when my income dropped, I couldn’t afford it!

Tax Act starts sending out reminder emails even before Jan 1, mentioning the sooner you purchase it, the cheaper it is.

Being of modest income (and not wanting to file, anyway) I put off the purchase.  Until I began preparation on Sunday.

And the total was much more than I anticipated!  And I didn’t have the money.  :-(

But, I able to finagle the fee to efile my tax returns MONDAY (two weeks ago).  Last Minute Louie it is!

Lesson learned – from now on I shall read the fine print!

(FTC – in no way is this an endorsement of either or any tax software product)

“Characteristics of the Armed Individual” Secret Service Training

usssThis is probably brule’ for those of us who are ‘gunnies’ and carry with regularity, but is still interesting with regard to how those in the federal law enforcement circle views such things.

It IS nice edged weapons are included!

(from The Firearms Blog)

The guide itself is rather basic, mostly written word of generally common-sense spotting techniques that most law enforcement would look for during any encounter.

The first and basic step is to “determine (the) strong side” which can be determined by looking for cues such as watches, writing, smoking, and other daily tasks.

Then, according to the Secret Service “An individual who carries a gun on their person will periodically touch that gun both consciously and unconsciously.” (I disagree with this, carrying on a regular basis and with training, many concealed carriers will not touch their firearm, but can see how for MOST encounters, this is true).

Perhaps the most interesting nugget (At least to me) is that the “the majority of right-handed people that carry handguns illegally carry them in the right front waist band, loose.” The document then explains that its because doing so is “cool”, seen in the movies” and “where it is most secure and accessible.”

You can see the whole document here, courtesy of Public Intelligence. (6 pages PDF)

I was reminded of walking through downtown Scottsdale (many years ago) after the Az CCW law initially passed.  In a couple of hours, I spotted at least nine persons carrying concealed weapons.  I’m certain part of the observation was this was a relatively new legal behavior and folks weren’t used to doing so yet.  But people tugging up on there waist bands on the right side under their overshirts, and wearing overshirts were a good beginning!

Most cops or plainclothes agents aren’t that concerned with concealment, and get accustomed to carrying many hour a day, and have done so for years.

Having done so, myself, for many years, I’ve the same comfort and familiarity.

And hope you have it, as well!

bianchi

Badass!

(copied stolen from Bayou Renaissance Man)

One can only salute the courage and determination of this victim of terrorism.

An Israeli man who was stabbed multiple times Tuesday afternoon in a terror attack in Petah Tikva managed to remove the knife from his neck and use it to stab and neutralize his attacker, aided by the store owner, police said.

The attacker, a Palestinian, died a few minutes later, police said.

The victim, later named as Yonatan Azarihab, an ultra-Orthodox man of about 40 who suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body, was hospitalized in moderate condition.

The store owner was not injured.

There’s more at the link.

There will doubtless be those of a bleeding-heart persuasion who try to convince us that the Palestinian was merely ‘resisting Jewish oppression’.  Bull.  As the late, great Jeff Cooper once said:

The obvious way to eradicate crime is to eradicate criminals, but neither the lawgivers nor the constabulary seem inclined to do this. The man who elects to prey upon society deserves no consideration from society. If he survives his act of violence, he rates a fair trial—but only to be sure that there has been no mistake about his identity. If he is killed in the act, there can be little doubt about whose act it was.

He was a terrorist – a criminal by any other name.  Thanks to a courageous, determined – and, yes, probably very angry – victim of his terrorism, he ended up paying the price for his crime right then and there.  Congratulations to Mr. Azarihab.  I hope and pray he makes a speedy and full recovery from his wounds.  I don’t know whether Orthodox Judaism condones the drinking of beer, but if it does, I’ll gladly buy him one (or any suitable beverage of his choice) anytime I get the chance.

Peter

Reminiscent of the tales of late regarding Ghurka warriors, in another part of the Old World, dispatching bad guys with aplomb!  Not one-on-one, but one-on-many!

But here we get told engagement is a no-no, it might make the attacker (more) angry.

Obviously, one needs to know oneself and one’s abilities (and limitations), but we need to stand up to any bastards who confront us with potential immediate harm and stop them!

And yes, I know I’m stating the obvious and preaching to the choir.

Nope, Nothing Here!

(My doctor, after examining my head(!)

correction – My EYE doctor, after my eye exam!  :-) )

Part of my annual medical exam involves a visit to the ophthalmologist.  You know, the guy who dilates your pupils to see what he can see.

Being a diabetic, there is always a concern.  Diabetes, as it limits proper blood flow, can cause neuropathy (which I have) and even diminished flow to the eyes, which can cause blindness!  Even with my ‘good’ blood work numbers.

I don’t like having my pupils dilated, and even more so do not like paying for the privilege.  My eye doc does take Medicare (which I am on, due to my being disabled).  Of course, every year there is the deductible.

And, it is the beginning of a new year.

Sigh.

So, I’d been putting it off until I could cobble some funds together.

My regular physician – knowing my predilections in this matter – sent a referral to the eye doc, who set up an appointment, and they called me with the date and time.

So there’s no avoidance…

Good news!  They take payments!  There is no sign of diabetic damage in either eye!  AND my prescription hasn’t changed.

Until next year…

Happy New Year (AGAIN), Aka, Geez I’m Old!

When I was visiting my Sister on Christmas Eve (accompanying my ex-wife, who is close with my niece and grand-nieces.  Yeah, it’s weird, sometimes!)  my ex told me she had been visiting earlier that day with her (deceased) youngest brother’s children.  One of whom had a child, who married someone already with a child.

So, they are a step-parent, and by extension, I found out I am a great, great uncle!

Now I’m not particularly close to these folks, and don’t know over half of them, so my social obligation is limited.

But the label!  And the fact it’s 2016!  That makes me….(carry the one)….(removes sock to count toes)….going to be sixty-four this November!

And my ex already took note that I am graying (Thanks, M!)…

But, I am grateful for all I do have, and the fact I am on this side of the dirt nap.

So there’s that.

Tempus Fugit, my friends.

Another Orbit

The third rock from the Sun has gone ’round yet again.  And it’s reportedly now 2016!

Happy New Year?!

I must report, not much has changed for me in the past 365 days, save increased age and perceived infirmity.

Same (low) disability income, same crummy car, same rental room.

BUT, I continue to have friends and family, who support me spiritually, morally, and sometimes even financially!

And that has made all the difference!

My thanks to you all – you know who you are.

Who knows?  Perhaps this year will be even better?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Guffaw

Happy-New-Year-Cartoon-Pictures

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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