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Forgiveness

Or NOT…

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…)

BUT:

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.

But:

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…

Doppelganger(s)

Doppelganger (n.)  a duplicate person, as in someone who looks exactly like __________.

I never used to believe in such a thing.  I mean, each human being is an individual, there is no one else like them, right?

WRONG.

I have seen three in the past 20 years(!)

About two months ago, I was grocery shopping at the closest market to home.  Not because it was my favorite, but because it was close.  (Laziness?  Heat?)

I’m standing in the checkout line, and five or six folk ahead of me was a familiar guy.  Tall.  Large.  Built familiarly (if that’s even a word?)  He turned to push out his cart of groceries, and I almost yelled out his name!  He resembled strikingly BOB, my former PI and gun store boss!  Except the previous week I was informed by the original Bob that he just has had the lower part of his left leg amputated.  And I knew there was no way he would have been across the Valley, 30 miles from his home, and so ambulatory right away.  And this guy had more hair, a goatee and a pony tail!  Nope – not Bob!

But certainly closer looking to him than his brother!!

Another time, we were in a Mexican restaurant.  Because it was cheap, not because it was good.  And we were seated by the back door, and could see folks seated outside on the patio.  And there was Marla, a former girlfriend.  Same figure, same face, same laugh and mannerisms.  Except Marla passed away in 2004 – I have a copy of the obituary!

And there was my first observance with a doppelganger.  In 1995, about 4 months after the accident.  You know where I’m going with this…

The ex and I were window shopping at a large mall, largely because it was late Summer and air conditioned.  And a couple walks by with three children.  And number-two child looked exactly like Molly, except with blond hair!!!

I’m not normally the kind of man who faints, but I leaned up against the wall and closed my eyes to keep from losing consciousness.  And to keep from screaming and crying.  And my ex (who obviously had not seen her) asked me what was wrong.

And I nervously pointed.  At air.

There was a couple with children.  TWO children!  And neither resembled our daughter.

Sigh.

To only be able to see her again…

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!

Another Day In History

(I always imagine similar post titles being announced by Merrill Heatter or John Cameron Swayzee.  Youngsters, ask your parents or grandparents.)

Many of you know I try to begin my daily routine with Email, blogging and reading the Ref Desk Almanac page.  Sometimes, a confluence of births, death and historic events seem to have happened on the same day.

For example:

Birthdates which occurred on April 20:

0121 Marcus Aurelius 16th Roman emperor (161-80), philosopher

1808 Louis-Napoleon [Napoleon III] emperor of France (1852-71)

1889 Adolf Hitler Braunau Austria, dictator of Nazi Germany (1936-45)

1896 Senor Wences ventriloquist (Close the Door)

1940 George Takei Los Angeles CA, actor (Sulu-Star Trek, Green Berets)

Deaths which occurred on April 20:

1769 Pontiac Indian chief to Ottawa, murdered

1912 Bram Stoker Irish theater manager/writer (Dracula), dies

1992 Benny [Alfred Hawthorn] Hill comedian (Benny Hill Show), dies of a heart attack at 67

1993 Cantinflas [Mario Moreno] Mexican actor (Pepe), dies at 81

On this day…

1775 British begin siege of Boston

1799 Napoleon issues a decree calling for establishing Jerusalem for Jews

1841 1st detective story (Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue”) published

1853 Harriet Tubman starts Underground Railroad

1871 3rd Enforcement Act (President can suspend writ of habeas corpus)

1965 People’s Republic China offers North Vietnam military aid

1993 Uranus passes Neptune (this occurs once every 171 years)

1999 Deadliest school shooting in US history at Columbine High School, Littleton CO, 13 killed, 23 wounded

1943 In Poland, Germans Nazi troops massacred the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.

 

Index, Index, INDEX!

The lovely and brilliant Tamara reminded us again of basics.  And reminded me, as well:

Continuing Education

I cannot speak for anyone else, but as much as I lecture others in these pages regarding complacency, I, too, can fall victim to it.  (Duh)

Not just the almighty INDEX (NOT placing one’s index finger in the trigger guard until one is ready to shoot – and where exactly DO you place it?  ALTHOUGH, I’M PRETTY GOOD AT REMEMBERING THIS PART!), but…

When was the last time you checked your weapon for function and safety?  Are all the mechanical parts in good repair?

AND, appropriately lubricated?

How about the magazines (speedloaders or speedstrips)?  Clean and functional?

And the ammunition?  When was the last time you changed it out for newer stuff?  Is your ‘one-up-the-spout’ (aka The Barney Bullet) seated correctly?  Or has months of recharging your sidearm crushed the case mouth?  Or seated the bullet farther inside?

How about the function and maintenance of the holster?  When was the last time it was cleaned, oiled, inspected for damage?  And the belt…

AND WHAT ABOUT YOU?

When was the last time you did a dry-practice exercise?  Including a reload or two?

And do you know the latest nuances in your State’s criminal law statutes?

Not unlike driving a car – one does it every day.  When was the last time you checked the tires?  The oil?  The transmission fluid?  Your brakes?  Reviewed the traffic code?

Do you always wear your seat belt?  (I’m a libertarian, and I do!)

But I’ve not done everything above with regard to my sidearm and it’s equipment.

I need to, more religiously.

Mr. Thingy

FarSide_MrThingy1I’ve never liked referring to myself as disabled.  Or the politically-correct differently-abled.  Even now that the State and my private insurance have labelled me as such.  I’m just uncomfortable so doing.

I haven’t even bothered to get one of those disabled license plates or mirror hangers.  Other people need them more than I.  :-)

I’m just me.

But, there are some things difficult and nearly impossible for me to do without some kind of assistance.

One of my ‘problems’ having a fused right hip (and imperfect right knee) is putting on socks.  I have been known to perform a kind of modified hurdlers stretch, bending my leg back and reaching behind me with a sock one-handed.

not me, not even close!

not me, not even close!

Believe me when I say doing this isn’t quick, easy or comfortable.

Or pretty.

Enter The Sock Thingy 2.0.  This is the name I’ve given it.

sock aidHere is a simple device which kind-of extends my reach with an open sock!  (Hey! It doesn’t dress me, but it makes things a little easier.)

One curls the black part into a sock, which holds it open, then dangles it to insert the foot in the opening, and pull up on the straps – viola’!

My only complaint is Sock Thingy 1.0 was made of thin plastic and terrycloth, and eventually broke.  It was quite comfortable, but replaced with the 2.0.  The 2.0 model is hard plastic.  Much more durable, but less comfortable, too.

At least it helps!

(It occurred to me while dressing this morning that some others of you might have a need for such an aid(?)

FTC – neither Amazon or Duro-Med have given me anything.  Put on your own socks!

Rose In The Garden

Life doesn’t always go as we plan or desire.  We certainly cannot control others in their personal plans or desires.

Especially, in matters of the heart.

Sometimes, we must let them go…

When love is good, it’s very, very good.

And when it goes away, it sucks.

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.

Things About Which We Have Passion

superbowl_redditExactly!

Most of you know, my Father was sports addict, and as a result (because of my inability to play after the onset of my disability at age 12), I was a sports orphan.

And the culmination of all this for me is I don’t have a passion for most sports.  Watching, playing, appreciating.  Because I can’t play, and because I was saturated with it as a child.

(If YOU love your sports, enjoy!  It’s no problem for me.  But, like religion, please leave it outside my door!)

I oft wondered about the American fetish for the love of team sports – especially baseball, football and basketball.  It’s been explained to me that it has to do with civic pride.  And, of course, friendly bets around the water cooler.

Or the bookie.

Marx says religion is the opiate of the masses.  In this country, the opiate is also sports!  I guess it stops folks from discussing religion and politics(?)

MY passion is the ability to live free.  To make my own choices.  To not be compelled to give to others through the power and force of government.  If I choose to do so, that’s one thing.  At the point of a gun, that’s another.

And, of course, my passion for the love a good woman.

Currently absent.  :-(

But that’s for another post…

h/t FB

In Loco Parentis

My friend ASM826 (whilst reporting in Borepatch) spun a tale of government most foul:

In Maryland, this week, one set of parents have been investigated for letting a 10 year old and a 6 year old go walking without supervision. The parents want the kids to have what they think of as normal freedom, expanding as the children get older. Child protective services are now involved in a neglect investigation.

Of course, we don’t know many specifics.  But this from the article in the NYDN is telling:

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say the county’s Child Protective Services began investigating them after police stopped their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter midway through a mile-walk home on Dec. 20 in Silver Spring. Police say they stopped the children and drove them home after someone reported seeing them.

OMG!  Someone saw children!  Sacre’ Bleu!

(In the name of piling on, I’m adding to ASM826’s tales of misspent youth)

I was raised in a small, white bread college town.  Still, my parents placed boundaries with regard to my wandering.   Roughly 1/2 mile in any direction, as boundaried  by major streets I was NOT allowed to cross.  Withing those boundaries were trees needing climbing, houses under construction needing exploring, irrigation conduits needing climbing down into and junk in alleys needing examining.  And rockets and firecrackers needing ignition!  I had these boundaries until high school,  to which I either walked or rode my bicycle.  One mile each direction.  Then there were stores, shops (the hobby shop) and MORE construction sites, including an industrial park just the other side of the high school.

With underground electrical access.

VERY cool for fledgling secret agent fantasies!

Yes, I was wounded, scratched, developed blisters, was hit in the head by a rock in a dirt clod fight, dislocated my left thumb playing football, and broke my arm at school doing faux karate.

And none of these things with parental supervision.

I didn’t ride my 24″ Schwinn Speedster with a helmet, either!

Now CPS and the police are enforcing this NERF world.  And taking more rights away from parents.

In loco parentis, indeed!

"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

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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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