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Low Batts! 

I’ve been sharing my roommate’s 2006 Honda Element, since two months ago my 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue was officially declared dead (or at least unsafe to drive).

I have decided to donate the Olds to an appropriate charity.

BUT, there are always ‘issues’ with cars.

A couple of weeks ago, the trusty Element started balking when the key was turned.

And we REALLY need at least ONE car that functions…

So, I took it upon myself to solve the problem. Having few auto mechanic skills did not bode well for me (this is where Dave the mechanic laughs).  I envisioned buying a discount battery and having difficulty with the installation – what with a fused hip, arthritis, chronic pain and all.

And low funds were also an issue (my roomie not having yet returned to work after her surgery).

At length, I did my due diligence and discovered my choices were from around $50 for a refurbished battery (with a warranty months in length) to over $200 from the dealer.

I settled for around $150.  THEY do the installation of the new battery – with a FIVE YEAR replacement warranty.  Done @ mechanic shop I trust.

Five years is phenomenal in the Valley of the Sun, where two or three is the usual rule!  The aforementioned Sun kills auto batteries here.

Now, I can go get groceries.  Albeit significantly fewer than I originally planned.

It’s always something…

George Romero & Martin Landau RIP 

It’s sad when a purveyor of a childhood memory is taken.

Sadder still when two are.

I’ve never been a big horror movie fan, falling for the less obvious thriller genre. But I recognize talent when I see it.

1968’s Night of the Living Dead began resurgence of horror films, many of whom were directed yet again by Mr. Romero.

The man had talent and style.

Martin Landau was a character acting fixture in my childhood, even when I didn’t know him by name. 

The Untouchables, Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, I Spy, Mission Impossible (on television) and North By Northwest and Ed Wood (in the movies).

And many other works…

I was never a Space 1999 fan, though…

He could play both charming and lethal.

I shall miss him

RIP Gentlemen 

Anti-Libertarian Ideologies On The March: The Existential Threat To Liberty

(From Libertarianism.org)

Tom Palmer lectures on modern threats to liberalism and individualism, exploring the philosophical roots of these threats and explaining the danger they pose. He touches on the theocratic threat of Islamism and the leftist threat of identity politics, but the bulk of the discussion focuses on the recent re-emergence of the type of nationalist, racist collectivism previously exhibited by fascists in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.

The slides associated with Palmer’s lecture are posted on SlidesLive.

I’m a ‘conservative’ libertarian.  I disagree with the National (Libertarian) Party on a number of points, mostly regarding open borders.

But, I still believe all liberty-loving folks need to band together, regardless of minor sticking points, to battle the evils of Statism.

Lest we lose it all over infighting!

 

You Have A Constitutional Right To Take Photos Of Police, Federal Court Affirms

Photographing and filming police officers in public is a constitutional right protected by the First Amendment. That’s what a federal appeals court unanimously affirmed this week in cases involving Philadelphia officers retaliating against citizens pointing cameras at them.

Slate reports that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was for two cases. In one, a woman named Amanda Geraci was restrained across the neck by a police officer while trying to film the arrest of an anti-fracking protester. In the second, a Temple undergraduate named Richard Fields was handcuffed and prosecuted after trying to film officers breaking up a house party.

A District Court previously had ruled that both Geraci and Fields had engaged in “conduct” only and not “expressive conduct,” and that therefore their filming wasn’t a First Amendment “freedom of speech” issue. But in Friday’s ruling, the Federal Appeals Court disagreed.

“Every Circuit Court of Appeals to address this issue […] has held that there is a First Amendment right to record police activity in public,” the judges write in their opinion. “Today we join this growing consensus. Simply put, the First Amendment protects the act of photographing, filming, or otherwise recording police officers conducting their official duties in public.”

“The First Amendment protects actual photos, videos, and recordings, […] and for this protection to have meaning the Amendment must also protect the act of creating that material.”

“We ask much of our police,” the judges write in the closing statements. “They can be our shelter from the storm. Yet officers are public officials carrying out public functions, and the First Amendment requires them to bear bystanders recording their actions. This is vital to promote the access that fosters free discussion of governmental actions, especially when that discussion benefits not only citizens but the officers themselves.”

So there you have it: police officers don’t have the right to squash free speech by ordering you to stop shooting photos of them in public.


Image credits: Header illustration based on photo by Elvert Barnes and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

h/t John Gwillam, Facebook

IT’S ABOUT TIME!

Don’t you always hate it when Rights you believed to be self-evident truths have to work their way up the judicial chain just to be affirmed as valid?

Of course, this hasn’t yet reached The Supreme Court(!)

Who knows?

And The Adventure Continues, Part Ocho 

So Monday the contractor returned, closed the hole in the downstairs ceiling, and replaced the upstairs bathroom floor (they had taken a divot earlier to test for asbestos – none found!)

He returned yesterday morning to give the ceiling a second coat.

Everything looks GREAT!  FINALLY!

paint still drying…

previously

(the leak began in MAY!)

I’m still dealing with my enlarged calf, visiting my regular doctor again today. And the vascular guy again next Monday.

At least the shower is no longer leaking. 

But, the adventure does continue. The one working vehicle (J’s 2006 Honda Element) has a battery which is dying. It still starts the car, but could be gone any day now.

$100-250 at most auto parts places.

And I don’t get paid until mid week next week.

It’s always something… 

Sigh.

Happy Independence Day

Today is the 241st anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from the tyranny that was the British crown against the colonies.

And, it will be celebrated with fireworks, picnics, barbeques and other family get-togethers.  Some parades and even some solemn remembrances.

We should acknowledge this day, but we should also remember tyranny never stops, and government never stops growing unabated.

YES!  WE HAVE A BILL OF RIGHTS! – but how many of them are forgotten or stepped-on today?

Freedom of Speech?  Hardly.  Colleges and university restricting or stopping speech with which they disagree WHOLESALE!

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms?  I will acknowledge much improvement has happened over the past 20 years in this area, but we must not sit on out laurels.  Just this past week, the Supreme Court declined to hear how possession (carrying) of weapons outside the home factors in.  Leaving an erroneous District Court finding to stand.

Search and Seizure?  Do we even have a Fourth Amendment, anymore?  Blanket wiretapping of cellular phone and Internet communications.  DUI checkpoints.  The TSA.  Anyone see any warrants affiliated with these actions?

Trial by a Jury of one’s Peers?  Seriously?  How often?

And don’t even get me started on seizure of assets and jury nullification!

I thank God that we didn’t elect Barack 2.0 (aka Hillary).  This doesn’t mean that the current White House occupant is close to being a diamond in the rough.

He is a populist, and certainly NOT a libertarian!  And surrounds himself with statist conservatives.

We have won some battles, but are nowhere close to winning the war.

The quote “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is often mistakenly attributed to the Irish lawyer and politician John Philpot Curran and frequently to Thomas Jefferson.

In fact, Curran’s line was somewhat different. What he actually said, in a speech in Dublin on July 10, 1790, was:

       “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”

And, according to Jefferson scholars there is “no evidence to confirm that Thomas Jefferson ever said or wrote, ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’ or any of its variants.”

Whoever said it, it is TRUE!  Stay vigilant, My Friends!

Happy Independence Day

 

Dangerous Things For Kids!

(from The Art of Manliness, in part)

Even though the modern world isn’t any more dangerous than it was thirty or forty years ago, it feels like a more perilous place. Or, more accurately, we inhabit the world today in a way that’s much more risk averse; for a variety of very interesting and nuanced reasons, our tolerance for risk, especially concerning our children’s safety, has steadily declined.  So we remove jungle gyms from playgrounds, ban football at recess, prohibit knives (even the butter variety) at school, and would rather have our kids playing with an iPad than rummaging through the garage or roaming around the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, as we discussed in-depth earlier this year, when you control for one set of risks, another simply arises in its place. In this case, in trying to prevent some bruises and broken bones, we also inhibit our children’s development of autonomy, competence, confidence, and resilience. In pulling them back from firsthand experiences, from handling tangible materials and demonstrating concrete efficacy, we ensconce them in a life of abstraction rather than action. By insisting on doing everything ourselves, because we can do things better and more safely, we deprive kids of the chance to make and test observations, to experiment and tinker, to fail and bounce back. In treating everything like a major risk, we prevent kids from learning how to judge the truly dangerous, from the simply unfamiliar.

Fortunately, we can restore the positive traits that have been smothered by overprotective parenting, by restoring some of the “dangerous” activities that have lately gone missing from childhood. The suggestions below on this score were taken both from 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), as well as memories from my own more “free range” childhood. If you grew up a few decades back, these activities may seem “obvious” to you, but they’re less a part of kids’ lives today, and hopefully these reminders can help spark their revival.  While each contains a element of danger and chance of injury, these risks can be thoroughly mitigated and managed by you, the parent: Permit or disallow activities based on your child’s individual age, maturity level, and abilities. Take necessary precautions (which are common sense and which I’m not going to entirely spell out for you; you’re a grown-up, not a moron). Teach and demonstrate correct principles, and supervise some practice runs. Once you’ve created this scaffolding of safety, however, try to step back and give your child some independence. Step in only when a real danger exists, or when your adult strength/dexterity/know-how is absolutely necessary. And don’t be afraid to let your kids fail. That’s how they learn and become more resilient.

In return for letting your children grapple with a little bit of healthy risk, the activities below teach motor skills, develop confidence, and get kids acquainted with the use of tools and some of the basic principles of science. Outside any educational justification, however, they’re just plain fun — something we’ve forgotten can be a worthy childhood pursuit in and of itself!

23 Dangerous Things You Should Let You Kids Do

Unlike many of you out there, I grew up in a city.  And, my Dad was largely absent.  I was given boundaries, though.  Don’t cross these streets; Don’t play with these kids;  Let us know where you are;   Be home for dinner @ 6 o’clock.

Other than that, I was pretty much left to my own devices.  Playing in old abandoned houses and construction sites, climbing into open manholes and irrigation conduits.  Picking through discarded trash for treasures.  Making rocket fuel and fireworks.  Dissecting unexploded fireworks.  Dirt clod fights.  Rubber band guns with projectiles!

I wasn’t foolhardy, but I wasn’t a namby-pamby either!

I remember when my Dad’s .22 rifle went missing.  He accused me of taking it, but was most upset I hadn’t asked! (I didn’t take it – it was stolen and later recovered by the PD)

From what I’ve observed, most kids (and most adults) don’t play outside or explore anymore.  Instead, they are inside getting carpal tunnel…

(And not in the traditional way!  😛 )

Toss your kid outside, without their electronics.  And tell ’em not to return until dinner-time.

They might learn something!

Refinding Music And Tech

I’ve always been behind the times in both music and technology to deliver said music.  Especially since I got married in my late twenties and had a family and a job, with all the requisite trials and tribulations therein.

I had (and still have) vinyl, went to cassettes, then CDs.  I bought an MP3 player in the early 2000s.  But never had the money to fill it.

Life.  It’s both a cereal and a board game.  And my listening to music got somehow waylaid.  😦

But, I’m here alone in my rented room, doing my morning routine with the blog.  And something was missing.

I tried Pandora for a while, but it never hooked me.

J. told me recently about Spotify.  So, I thought I’d give it a try.  On both my PC and my new cell phone!  (NOW with earbuds that actually fit!)

Maybe I’ve missed ‘my’ music too much, but now I’m immersed in it via Spotify.  Free, with a few commercials every so often.  Or, one can pay.

Of course, I’ve no funds.

So, FREE it is!

Currently, I’ve been vacillating between Dave Brubeck, Gordon Lightfoot, and the Person of Interest soundtrack.

Yeah, I’m eclectic!

😛

(FTC – Spotify gave me nothing save the free music they give everyone!  go away!)

 

Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye. 

My college mate, friend, and boss (when I worked security at the closed Legend City amusement park, in the 70s) has passed away.

John Conneally

Fair Winds and Following Seas, My Friend!

We only recently reconnected on Facebook after a 30 year absence.

As Father’s day is looming, I was going to write initially something about my Father, his Father, my Grandfather, or having been a father, etc….

But, you guys have already seen this in this venue.

I was a step-child.  And my step-mother and I were not in agreement on most things.  Like how to treat me.  And my father was largely absent.  My childhood memories are largely not pleasant ones.

Here’s what John’s stepson and one of his daughters had to say about him.

For Father’s Day.

John Conneally was my step-father from my body’s age of 8 1/2 to 14 1/2 and helped Tina Poling-Conneally raise me during those years. He introduced me critical analysis, science fiction, the concepts of leadership, teamwork, discipline, tactics, strategy, deduction and showed me what being brilliant without much solid, applicable way to make it useful for one’s self and society as a whole. As invaluable as they all are the most important one for me is the latter, and it motivates me more and more each day.
John died sometime either last night or today of complications from leukemia, liver failure and lung cancer. He had exposure to horrendous chemical wastes and other environmental hazards while in the Navy which very likely caused his leukemia and the liver and lung cancer came from self-medicating with tobacco and alcohol to keep his highly sensitive and strong soul from feeling and dealing with the internal awarenesses the society he grew up in had zero ability to teach him how to handle; John would have been a capable medicine man, shaman, holistic therapist and healing artist had he been born into this part of the world in the 80’s to today.
He lived as best a life as he could and I am glad I was able to be influenced by his life, both the good and the bad. May his pathways now lead him through all the misconceptions _and_ perfection of his life he just left. May his soul reach out to the wonders he sought and may be achieve them increasingly and unceasingly.
May he be able to choose rebirth, if and when he wants to from the realms of Experience that are without sufferings, pain fear and lack. May his lives and experiences between lives be of benefit to himself and All Beings.

Fare well, John Conneally. I am praying for you and perhaps we’ll meet again someday in much better and healthier ways.

Love to you.

____________

It’s a very hard thing, to think of someone you love in the past tense. Rest in peace, Dad. You are already missed.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

My wish for all of you as parents is to be as well thought of and loved in hindsight, as John’s children have of him.

If only…

 

 

Powers Boothe, RIP

You guys know how much I love character actors.

Sadly, another one has passed on – Powers Boothe.  Yesterday, of natural causes.

He’s one of those guys whom I had difficulty remembering his name, but loved his work.

Most of you probably remember him as ‘Curly’ Bill Brocius from the epic film Tombstone.

But he was so much more.

Jim Jones, Sin City, The Avengers, Deadwood, Agents of Shield, Nashville, Red Dawn, and 24 among many others.  He did the voice-over for Con Air.

I’ll always have a fondness for Philip Marlowe-Private Eye and Rapid Fire (wherein he played opposite Brandon Lee).

You will indeed be missed.

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…