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♫ 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.

 

Not A Gunsmith, Part Tres’

In our last episode…

I had gone shooting with friends, and marveled at the significantly lighter trigger of my friend’s Smith & Wesson .38 snubbie.

Having carried my electroless nickel S&W 442 for going on 22 years, with the stock 14 pound trigger(!), I thought it might be time for improvement.

Duh.

SO, I order a Wilson Combat spring kit through Brownell’s (for a whopping $9) and excitedly awaited it’s arrival so I could swap out the springs and share in the love… *:x lovestruck

I received it in about four days, found my brand X gunsmithing screwdriver, and went to remove the S&W sideplate.  Two screws in, I discovered that screw #3 was NOT loosening!  Not too much of a surprise, as the cheap screwdriver shaft was turning in the handle (!), and I had never had the sideplate off.  Ever.

I own a second (better quality) gunsmithing screwdriver.  However it remains beneath a pile of unpacked boxes.  And between being disabled, having back problems (and just not wanting to) there it remained.

Suggestions were made for screw-loosening oils, but without a decent tool, it wasn’t going to happen…

My roommate said she had a quality gunsmithing screwdriver, and offered it for my use.  I jumped at the chance.  But Life got in the way.  For almost two months.  Sigh.

FINALLY, I had the tool and the time.  And access to the You Tube videos regarding J-Frame Smith smithing.  And I began the task at hand.

That stubborn screw continued to be stubborn – but not impossible. 🙂

The sideplate was finally removed, and with some minor difficulty ( I repeat, I am NOT a gunsmith), the mainspring has been replaced!!

And the trigger pull went from fourteen pounds to a whopping EIGHT!

I’ve not yet replaced the trigger return spring (Wilson give me three from which to choose!) and the instructional videos have instruction regarding stoning certain surfaces to smooth them up.  I’m not certain I’m up for that.  As Inspector Harry Callahan said, “Man’s got to know his limitations.”

FTC – I bought all the screwdriver sets (except my roommate’s), the spring replacement kit and the revolver.  Go and buy your own!

a stock photo. My piece has a little corrosion damage on the sideplate. Unattractive!

a stock photo. My piece has a little corrosion damage on the sideplate. (that whole nasty sweat issue.)
Unattractive!

Is This The Beginning Of The End?

I’m speaking of this Republic.

With Rome, it was either when the Ottoman Turks took Byzantium (Constantinople) 1453 AD or when a barbarian deposed the last western Roman emperor 476 AD (ancient history About.com)

My Western Civilization professor said it began with (and I’m quoting here) “Moral decadence and pleasures of the flesh!” (to the cheers of the 400 or so horny underclassmen)

What is/was the beginning of the end of this Constitutional Republic we know as The United States?

The Whiskey Rebellion? (1791)

The Civil War? (1861)

Federal income tax (1913)

Direct election of Senators?  (1913)

Establishment of the Federal Reserve?  (1913)

The National Firearms Act (1934)

Or is it an amalgamation of these and many other things, eating away at our Constitutional substance, punctuated by further federal government oversteps such as Ruby Ridge and Waco?  No-knock warrants, followed by airport searches and sobriety checkpoints.  Massive surveillance of our electronic communications.  Prohibitions of Speech seen as ‘politically-incorrect’.  The killing of Blacks by police – whether or not legitimate actions – spun by self-serving propagandists into an ersatz race war?

Now followed by widespread racial civil unrest, punctuated by acts of terrorism against civil authority.

I’m certain all ‘civilizations’, be they primitive neolithic cultures like the American Indian when the White man first laid eyes on him, or the Romans, or the Christian Turks all thought they would endure forever.

And so have most of we Americans.

I guess the true question isn’t what was the tipping point.

It’s what do we do NOW?

dark ages

from a miniseries The Dark Ages

Tamara (Again) Takes The Internets!

as recently posted by The Queen of Snark (in part)

(…) In the wake of the Istanbul bombings, the people in charge of wrapping the world in foam padding are trying to figure out more ways to make us perfectly safe. Apparently this will put a security checkpoint at the edge of the airport grounds to screen you before you get to the security checkpoint inside which will screen you to get on the plane. It’s screeners all the way down!

(…)

…and if they move screening back to the airport access road, they set off a truck bomb in the traffic jam rather than a backpack bomb in the terminal.

The reductio ad absurdum of this, of course, is to avoid creating the security bottlenecks that make such target-rich environments by putting a TSA checkpoint outside every front door in America.

(and here’s the money line)

There’s just no practical way to nerf the world.

 

51% – ers

from Brock Townsend:

Socialism’s False Promise

Via Billy

Given its track record, one wonders why socialism is gaining in popularity in the U.S. and what appeal it has to a generation that, apparently, knows little about it.

A recent survey from Harvard University has found that 51 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 do not support capitalism. Just 42 percent support the economic system that has allowed even the poorest American to live better and to have more opportunity for advancement than most of the rest of the world. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed support socialism.

Why does socialism receive such strong support among the young? I think it’s partly due to what is being taught in too many public schools and universities and it is partly due to ignorance and human nature, which would rather get a check than earn one.

Three quotes about socialism sum up both its false promise and its danger.

Back-in-the-day, when I was going to college, I paid all my own tuition, bought my own books, and worked full-time.  At minimum wage or slightly more than minimum wage jobs.  No student loans for me!
This is not to say I wouldn’t have considered a loan – I didn’t think I’d qualify and didn’t know I’d a choice!
What changed, wherein young people cannot work and afford college on their own? 
(I suspect the government is involved!)
(In the interest of full disclosure, I barely make it on SSDI today, and sometimes borrow (or am gifted) money to pay my auto insurance, or to make groceries.  This is not a bleg, but just a statement-of-fact.  What changed, when I could once afford to pay my own way, and now cannot?  I suspect the government is involved.)

A Period Piece

from Bayou Renaissance Man (in part)

Today’s award goes to the journalist(s) and/or editor(s) responsible for this utterly ludicrous headline:

It is, of course, complete and utter bull.  Naturally (and I mean that both literally and figuratively) women are, indeed, the only people who menstruate!  It can’t possibly be any other way.  Those responsible for this absurd headline are stretching reality in such a pretzel-like fashion that it’s grotesque to the point of ridiculousness.

(…)

There’s more at the link.

Look . . . if a woman chooses to self-identify as a man, but chromosomally, genetically and otherwise is female to the point that she still has periods, THEY ARE NOT A MAN.  THEY ARE A WOMAN.  PERIOD.  (Pun intended.)  Even if the relevant organs are surgically removed, so that periods are no longer physically possible, that won’t change the reality of the situation.

This is political correctness gone mad, and should be treated as such.  To do otherwise would be dishonest – and the hallmark of a doofus.  It’s as simple as that.

Peter

I applaud Peter for his directly addressing the complete absurdity of this concept!

Having said that, I commend the company for (ahem) thinking outside the box (sorry!) to gain a larger market share.  Capitalism at it’s weirdest.

As stupid though it may seem.

Hard to imagine what is, or could be next…

(I shudder at the prospects!)

Today In History, Recent and A Few Years Ago…

Muhammad-Ali-quote-on-courageMuhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) is one of my childhood heroes.  Not so much because of specifics (being a great athlete/boxer – which he was), but because he stood for something.  And if his goals were boasts, he surpassed them.

By taking risks.

In spite of being a member of a controversial religious sect, he gave millions to charities for all races.

One of his biggest supporters was broadcaster Howard Cosell, who was unashamedly Jewish.

Hardly following the party line of radical Islam there, Mr. Ali.  Good for you!

He passed yesterday from complications due to Parkinson’s disease.  Not a serene way to go.  Just short miles from a hospital wing bearing he and his wife’s name.  For treatment of Parkinson’s.

“I AM THE GREATEST!” he used to boast.

He was.

….

Today is the 27th Anniversary of the ending to the protests in Tianamen Square, Peking, P.R.C.  We all remember that famous photo of the guy and the tank.

Here it is, in a wider view:

a everyone-knows-the-photo-of-tankman-stopping-tanks-but-this-the-real-photo-s800x571-437607-1020

Makes me think of the force of unfettered government versus the individual.

I wonder if he had heard of Muhammad Ali?

______________________________________________________
(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to www.projectwelcomehometroops.org/#22kill

22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY

Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #2 of 22)

“It’s The FOOD POLICE, Again!”

The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke

By MARY CLARE JALONICK – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke.

The proposed guidelines released Wednesday are voluntary, so food companies won’t be required to comply. But the idea is to persuade companies and restaurants — many of which have already lowered sodium levels in their products — to take a more consistent approach.

It’s the first time the government has recommended such limits. Sodium content already is included on existing food labels, but the government has not set specific sodium recommendations. The guidelines suggest limits for about 150 categories of foods, from cereals to pizzas and sandwiches. There are two-year and 10-year goals.

“The totality of scientific evidence, as reviewed by many well-respected scientific organizations, continues to support lowering sodium consumption from current levels,” said Susan Mayne, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “In fact, it’s very difficult in the current marketplace not to consume too much sodium.”

Americans eat about 1½ teaspoons of salt daily, or 3400 milligrams. That’s about a third more than the government recommends for good health and enough to increase the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and other problems. Most of that sodium is hidden inside common processed foods and restaurant meals.

()

I’m overweight and diabetic.  And have high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Much less than I used to, in all respects, fortunately.  :-)

NOT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED MY DIETARY CHOICES!

I don’t always make the ‘correct’ decisions with regard to the type of foods, or portions or ingredients – but, Hell, it’s my body and my choice!

(Where have I heard that before?)

Worst case scenario – IF the government controls how much salt is in commercially-produced products and restaurants (removing shakers from tables ala Bloomberg), and I feel the need, I’ll just bring my own!

Damn government control freaks!

When it rains, it pours…

morton

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.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…