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This category contains 41 posts

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!

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!

I’m NOT A Hipster

hipstersI’m so glad I’m not a hipster.  I pretended to be Joe Cool in college, but in reality was a crippled proto geek with oily skin and shorter-then-acceptable-as-a-hipster hair, and glasses.

It’s been suggested if only I changed my hair, my clothes, some of my beliefs (etc.) I’d be cooler.  I don’t care – I’m happy being who I am.

Never Yet Melted quoted what I think is the definitive comment on hipsterism.

In part…

Hipster economics are standard economics because hipsters are everything the US economy has ever wished for in one convenient package. It’s a group consisting largely of young, upper-middle class people with very little conviction, who will spend large amounts of money to maintain their own comfort and the appearance of diversity and rebellion. They are activists as long as it’s easy, poor as long as it doesn’t involve dirt or hunger, and selfless as long as they don’t stand to lose anything. They represent the sanitizing of national issues so that they can be discussed without being addressed. And all you have to do to control them is use some reverse psychology. They’re not rebels, they’re not even malicious, because they’re not anything except a bunch of kids playing pretend. They’ll eventually grow up and become bankers, lawyers and politicians, just like their parents…(Robert)

Again, I’m NOT a hipster…

Ya Know – Things Could Be WORSE!

When I started this blog, it was more just an outlet – it was something to do.  Being on medical disability for lymphoma, compounded by arthritis, a fused hip, and diabetes, I told myself I would NOT use the blog as therapy.

Even though, on more than one occasion, I have!  :-)

But one advantage of this window on the world is it can be indeed a window.  And can be observed both directions.

Recently, I posted about Kilted To Kick Cancer.  Cancer charities are especially personal to me, being a lymphoma survivor, and all.  When I was diagnosed, and required chemotherapy, I was actively employed and had quality health insurance.

But, it wasn’t enough to cover the high cost of the chemo.

Enter a charity – who, upon my application, covered the bulk of the cost not absorbed by my insurance.

For this, and for many things, I should be grateful.

But, I get into myself, ongoing chronic pain issues, inability to work, low income, old bad car w/o A/C, yatta, yatta, yatta

Then I get a view into the window!

I’m privileged to have many people follow me on this blog.  I’ve no idea why they do.  And while some are fellow travelers of the libertarian/conservative/gun totin’ kind, there are others.

A recent follower is Caroline, who has a loving husband, and child.  And a horrific cancer, MEN2A.  And her blog!

Talk about an attitude adjustment!  To see what this beautiful woman and her family are going through…

And so many others.

Caroline

In Old Arizona (NSFW)

screw

sheet metal screw

(No, not the 1928 silent film Western!  And not THAT old…)

After my ignominious departure from the University (I dropped out because I spent more time partying than studying.  Remember Joe Cool? 1970-71), my parents (with whom I was still living) put their feet down.

I was to pay them rent.  This meant upgrading my employment – both to meet my financial obligation to them, and to look for better accommodations.

My Dad knew a guy who worked for AZDES, as a job bank guy.  And soon, I was interviewed and sent out for a better possible job.

At M****** S***** Nut, Bolt and Screw.  A manufacturer of industrial fasteners – nuts, bolts, screws, rivets, all manner in all sizes and quantities.  Not being particularly handy, I was unaware one could get such items in kegs.  Or pallets of kegs.  Containing thousands, weighing a lot!

Soon, I went to work commuting from the S.E. Valley to N.W. of downtown Phoenix.  And, in spite of promises made I would not have to drive a clutch-operated vehicle (with my disability, it can be difficult), I was soon driving a fork lift, among my other duties!

And I got to load trucks and make local deliveries, mainly to construction companies, Valley-wide.

But, this was before political correctness.  And except for a couple of secretaries in the main office, and small parts packaging, the staff and customers were entirely male.  And in a blue-collar business such as this, coarse language and humor was prevalent.

ALL the company pencils had the name of the company, the address, telephone number.

And the phrase “To Us, There’s Nothing Better Than A Good S**** “

And not to be outdone, over the will-call office, wherein people came to pickup ordered merchandise, was a sign reading “We’d Like Nothing Better Than To Handle Your N**** “

Obviously, a different time.  I think I was making $2.00/hour, up from $1.60 as a busboy!  @ 45 hours a week.

But, all good things must come to an end.

It was closing time, and I was in a hurry to get home.  My manager asked me to wait for him to load a truck for delivery – and he was taking forever.  So, I took it upon myself to load the pickup truck with the fork lift, without waiting for his direction.  And I put a small dent in the truck, with the clutch-operated fork lift I’d been promised I would never have to drive.

And I was subsequently fired.

No more commuting for me.  At least to that part of town.

And yes, I thought I had been s******!

"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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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.

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