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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

Christmas 2015

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As Don Benjamin (my high school English Lit. teacher) used to say when he’d (intentionally) run out his lesson plan:

“Well, here we are!”

My roommate did a fine job on the tree (which she also bargain purchased – it’s artificial!).  Sadly, neither one of us has enough money to do the holiday up right.

And she’s visiting her daughter in Tucson, today.

I visited my Sister’s for Christmas Eve festivities – here is a pic of nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews and my sister sporting their silly socks!  :-)  ♫You put your left foot in…

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I’ve the critters to keep me company today, and a traditional dinner of Italian food later for which to look.

Santa didn’t bring me the woman I asked for!  Nor the guns!

But, I’ve a roof over my head, a 16-year-old car that sometimes works and fuzzy creatures to annoy, confound and entertain me.

And food for my belly.

Life is good – to all my friends, near and far,  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Black Lives Matter

…and so do others of any color, and cops! – Guffaw

Then there’s THIS (from Kevin Baker):

“…no political will in the country to address inner-city violence.”

As I’ve said here and on other fora, if you really want to do something about homicide by firearm then you need to pay attention to who’s doing the killing, who’s doing the dying, and where it is taking place.  ProPublica has an article out, How the Gun Control Debate Ignores Black Lives, on this topic, and the title to this post is THE pullquote from it.

Some other choice selections:

In 2012, 90 people were killed in shootings like the ones in Newtown and Aurora, Colorado. That same year, nearly 6,000 black men were murdered with guns.

Mass shootings, unsurprisingly, drive the national debate on gun violence. But as horrific as these massacres are, by most counts they represent less than 1 percent of all gun homicides. America’s high rate of gun murders isn’t caused by events like Sandy Hook or the shootings this fall at a community college in Oregon. It’s fueled by a relentless drumbeat of deaths of black men.

Gun control advocates and politicians frequently cite the statistic that more than 30 Americans are murdered with guns every day. What’s rarely mentioned is that roughly 15 of the 30 are black men.

Avoiding that fact has consequences. Twenty years of government-funded research has shown there are several promising strategies to prevent murders of black men, including Ceasefire. They don’t require passing new gun laws, or an epic fight with the National Rifle Association. What they need — and often struggle to get — is political support and a bit of money.

Lost in the debate is that even in high-crime cities, the risk of gun violence is mostly concentrated among a small number of men. In Oakland, for instance, crime experts working with the police department a few years ago found that about 1,000 active members of a few dozen street groups drove most homicides. That’s .3 percent of Oakland’s population.

Two weeks after Obama unveiled his plan, (Pastor Michael) McBride and dozens of other clergy members, many of them from cities struggling with high rates of gun violence, met again with staffers from Vice President Biden’s task force.

The mood at the January 29 meeting was tense. Many of the attendees, including McBride, felt the president’s agenda had left out black Americans.

“The policy people working for Biden worked with the reality of Congress,” said Teny Gross, one of the original Boston Miracle outreach workers who now leads the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago. “What they were proposing to us was very limited and was not going to help the inner city.”

Gross said he “blew a gasket.” The clergy members in the room were pleading for help. “We bury hundreds of kids every year in the inner city,” Gross recalled them telling the administration representative. “Some of the solutions need to apply to us.”

A staffer said that the political will of the country was not focused on urban violence, several ministers who attended the meeting recalled.

“What was said to us by the White House was, there’s really no support nationally to address the issue of urban violence,” said the Rev. Charles Harrison, a pastor from Indianapolis. “The support was to address the issue of gun violence that affected suburban areas — schools where white kids were killed.”

The Rev. Jeff Brown, from Boston, was angered by the administration’s calculated approach. “When you say something like that and you represent the President of the United States, and the first African-American President of the United States, you know, that’s hugely disappointing,” he said.

It would seem that Obama’s a huge disappointment to a lot of people.

RTWT.  And especially the comments.

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    Of course, most of those black-on-black murders are related to the drug trade. When you’re dealing in a product whose sale has been prohibited by government fiat, and a dispute in the course of business arises, you can’t just take the other guy to court. It should come as no surprise that many of them seek out “alternative means” of dispute resolution.

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      That depends on whether you believe the article, which states:

      “But it’s not drug deals or turf wars that drives most of the shootings.

      “Instead, the violence often starts with what seems to outsiders like trivial stuff — ‘a fight over a girlfriend, a couple of words, a dispute over a dice game,’ said Vaughn Crandall, a senior strategist at the California Partnership for Safe Communities, which did the homicide analysis for Oakland.

      “Somebody gets shot. These are men who do not trust the police to keep them safe, so ‘they take matters into their own hands,’ he said. It’s long-running feuds, Crandall said, that drive most murders in Oakland.

      “Men involved in these conflicts may want a safer life, but it’s hard for them to put their guns down. ‘The challenge is that there is no graceful way to bow out of the game,’ said Reygan Harmon, the director of Oakland Police Department’s violence reduction program.”

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      “Rule No. 1 – To solve a problem, you first have to define the problem …”

      Rule No. 1 – To solve a problem, you first have to recognize and admit what the problem is.

      There. Fixed it for you.

      For blacks in America, the “problem” is that race shouldn’t matter, but the “solution” is to behave as if race is the only thing that matters. This is known as “hypocrisy” in those who understand what they are doing, and “stupidity” in those who don’t.

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      Two blogs I read regularly dealing with the topic are as follows:

      http://stuffblackpeopledontlik…

      http://www.jameslafond.com/

      James LaFond is mordantly funny and an acute observer of the situation. At the right side, he lists the topics under categories – the Harm City and the Blog are the two most relevant but his Modern Combat category is worth a browse.

      From reading these blogs, the BIG 800 pond gorilla in the room is the refusal of the black community to take responsibly for their own behaviour and their automatic defence of black criminals. The mainstream media and politicians support their viewpoint and the “more of the same” approach that has lead to the situation is demanded (and delivered). More money, more welfare, more police backing off etc.

      Rule No. 1 – To solve a problem, you first have to define the problem …

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    “… including Ceasefire… [w]hat they need — and often struggle to get — is political support and a bit of money.” This unbelievable crock of fantasy monkey shit destroys any chance this article had of credibility with me. The state of Illinois, specifically comically incompetent governor Pat Quinn, gave the Chicago branch of these thieves over A MILLION dollars to do something about the shooting in Chicago. What did they do with it? Well, nobody knows, because there was no accounting made. No demand for results. No accountability for the money. It just vanished. And there hasn’t been a bit of difference made in the shooting in Chiraq.

      
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      “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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      “What they were proposing to us was very limited and was not going to help the inner city.”

      Why would the Democrats want to do that? The violence is the excuse they need to reduce us all to total helplessness in the face of their tyrannical ambitions.

      Put another way, their goal is not to fix the problem, it’s to destroy freedom. The problem of inner city violence is not actually a problem to these ideologues, it’s a tool, an opportunity, an excuse to “take advantage of” so they can take guns from free men. If they actually fixed the problem it would destroy their ability to achieve their true objectives.

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    Political Will, my friends, is what worked so hard for decades to create the problem. The War on Drugs, the Great Society, all the Community Organizing to keep people pissed off, hopeless, divided, feeling like victims and voting Democrat; these things are the fruits of Political Will. Surely you don’t expect Political Will to drop everything it’s worked so hard for generations to accomplish and suddenly work in the opposite direction.

    So just who is this Political Will person whom you all seem to believe has absolute power to solve problems? I tell you he’s a trouble-maker and good for nothing. Political Will seeks power, money and influence for the purpose of keeping people from solving their own problems, and now you expect him to solve the problems he created? This crisis, it seems, is not going to waste for it is leading to calls for more government action. Perfect success!

    Who was it who became famous for saying “the mindset that created a problem is not the one that’s going to solve it” or something to that effect?

    And so I am given to wonder whether we are all insane.

    Maybe we need to be asking ourselves what we are doing to solve these problems, rather than childishly tugging on the coattails of those who helped cause them.

    (…)

     

 

What About Bob?, Part Quatro

In our last episode…

My friend Bob (of the many friends named such) – my former P.I. boss and gun store boss – was losing weight and on a feeding tube due to the inability to eat due to esophageal cancer (!)

And he (and we) were awaiting approval from on-high (his health care insurance) to begin chemotherapy and radiation for the throat cancer.

And the insurance company was balking at beginning treatment, as he had yet to gain any weight (or to save themselves money – you decide!)

And now…

I heard from him yesterday, as I reached out to him for the Thanksgiving weekend.  He has been receiving ‘treatments’ going on three months, with the last one scheduled for this coming week.

THEN, we will see the prognosis…

He says he is very tired and is maintaining (mostly) a good attitude.

Please keep a good thought, and pray for him (if that’s what you do).

What To Do In A Terrorist Attack

(courtesy of Borepatch)

Michael Yon has advice (via Isegoria):

We are at war. 
We must retrain our minds that we are not sheep to be slaughtered.
First option — unless you are law enforcement or a Soldier — is to escape. Second option is to hide. Final option, kill that son of a bitch. Bum-rush him.
Take his rifle and shoot him in the head.
He might be wearing a vest — when you are very close shoot his head twice and keep moving. If the rifle is out of ammo, kill him with the rifle butt or something else. Smash with all of your strength.
No time for hogtying him. There might be other terrorists and there is no time for pleasantries. Just kill him and keep your weapon pointed at potential enemies. Be very careful not to cause innocent casualties. Can be hard to do.
Ugly advice for an ugly age.
Basic…to the point…nothing fancy.
And yes, ugly.
I don’t understand the mindset of people who volunteer to be sheep – either they figure they will lose (or deserve to), and seem to operate on that premise.
Or that they are incapable of self-defense violence.  Unable to make an effort to save their own skin, or the skins of their loved ones.
REMEMBER – WE ARE THE FIRST RESPONDERS – IF WE CHOOSE TO RESPOND!
I’m old.  Slow.  Arthritic.  Physically disabled.
I’m in chronic pain.
BUT I WANT TO LIVE!

I Sometimes HATE Novembers…

November 8, 2007

I had spent Saturday night with my (then) girlfriend J. (who is now my landlord – it’s complicated) and we were caravaning back to my place in central Phoenix on Sunday night, around 7 PM.  At the time, we both had Sunday’s and Monday’s off.

And I was about ten minutes ahead of her, preparing to pull into my driveway, when I noticed something annoying.

The porch light I had left on was not burning.

Damn!  I just bought another yellow, incandescent bug bulb.  They burn out so fast.

So, I pull into the drive, key my way in the back door, and head back to my bedroom to unpack.

It’s not just the bulb that’s off.  My interior wall behind my bed has fallen upon it!  The wall to the rear of the house seems to have moved laterally about 12 inches – making my doorway to the back office, computer/reloading room narrower by about a foot!  I look in there, and most everything is strewn about and on the floor.

Exiting and looking into the adjacent bedroom, my gun safe remains, but the wall behind it has also shifted East about a foot!

WTF?!

I call J., who is still in route and explain something is very wrong.

Then, there is a knock on the carport door and I answer it.  It’s a neighbor, who explains about 4 AM that morning, a vehicle drove through my fence and drove into my house!  As it was much noise, many neighbors came out to investigate and found the truck had continued to plow through my yard, pushing the rear wall of my home sideways about a foot.  He backed out and drove away, with the police in pursuit who stopped him about a block away.

It was a drunk driver in a company vehicle.  Who knew?

The neighbors figured out I was not home, and as gas seemed to be leaking called the gas company and turned off all my breakers, promising the police and gasco they would have me contact them upon my arrival.  Of course, no one knew where I was.  The gas company shut off the gas.  The police had left a note on my door asking I call them.

Then all went back to bed.  And the drunk went to jail.

All while I was ignorantly asleep at my girlfriend’s house 17 miles to the S.E.!

Sunday became a late night.  Calling my insurance man, who said they would pay for a (cheap) hotel, gathering up some additional clothes, and awaiting the construction guys who would plywood all the broken windows, the rear of the house and doors to make the house more secure.

More neighbors became aware of my returning home and stopped by to see if I was alright.  The Latinos across the street – who spoke no English, and I suspect were illegals – brought me over a kitten to cheer me up!

Restless sleep began something like 0130.

And I was unable to return home except to check the mail for about six months, while the insurance company rebuilt my little house, moved me to a condo and cleaned up the mess.

Sadly, I had to return the kitten.

But wait, there’s more…

(look for the sequel in about two weeks!)  :-)

(I will continue to post daily, this is just building suspense…)

Beer

Being diabetic, alcohol is probably something I shouldn’t consume in quantity.  Besides, I made up for it during my college years! :-P

And somewhat after…

Regardless, occasionally I still enjoy a good beer.  By choice, I significantly cut back on the quantity I was imbibing as of 1 January, and have lost a significant amount of weight.

But sometimes…

I’m not a fan of IPAs.  India Pale Ales.  They are just too hoppy for me.  In my youth, I was a Budweiser man, escalating to Michelob for special occasions.  And light beer never appealed to me.  And heavy porters and such just aren’t for me.  Not Guiness, either (sorry Brigid!)  With the advent of micro-breweries, there have developed many more choices, however.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying Blue Moon, which is a Belgian Wheat Ale with orange undertone.  Good restaurants serve it with an orange slice.  Quite refreshing in the hot Summer months.  I used to enjoy Lumberyard Raspberry Ale – but sadly the microbrewery in Flagstaff stopped production of this nectar.  A couple of dear friends have gifted me with Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic, a low alcohol content from Belgium which can only be described as tasting like raspberry champagne!  And, it’s corked!  They have also given us Sonora White Chocolate Ale, which is yummy in combination with the Lambic, or all by itself.  Sadly, I don’t drink these as often, because I view them as for special occasions.  And I only have so many.  :-)

Once of my loyal blog readers is Dave, of Musings Over A Pint.  If you like thoughtful discourse, and discussion regarding beer, and firearms (separately, of course!) Dave’s your guy.

Give him a visit!

“Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin

(Sadly, this is a misquote.  What Dr. Franklin actually said was, “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”)

But wine is for another post.

Cheers!  Or as Gramp always said, “Prosit” – loosely translated “May this beverage bring you health!”

What About Bob?, Part Tres’

I heard back from Bob this morning.  He remains hospitalized, and frankly, things are not good.

From the Man, himself:

I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  (Apparently the leg amputation was simply a warm-up.)  I will begin three months of radiation and chemotherapy, soon to be followed by surgery to remove the lower third of my esophagus and upper portion of Mr. Stomach.

Prognosis is guarded.

I am attempting to remain positive and as upbeat as possible.

Can you believe this guy?!  Positive and upbeat?  I’d be a puddle on the floor…   :-(

Please keep Bob in your thoughts and prayers.  He is a voracious reader (and likes paper media, eschewing the electronic), so I’m bringing him copies of Brigid’s two fine books, when he allows me to visit.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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