archives

credit

This tag is associated with 8 posts

From The ‘Just When You Thought It Was Safe’ Dept.

In the past eight years, I went from a low-to-middle income ‘career’, to short-term disability and illness, to long term disability and remission.

Thus far.

While I am most grateful for having survived(!), with long term disability has come a lower income, and the loss of my job and home.  I tried to recover in the short term, and ended up maxing out my credit cards coupled with the inability to pay for them.  And the medical bills that followed.

Along the way my firearms collection was stolen.  Just to add to the ‘fun’.

Through the kindness of friends, I’ve been able to increase my firearms acquisitions to a small collection* (my surviving .38 snubbie and 1911, a Ruger .357 revolver and a compact Sig-Sauer .45!  And, of course, a spring-operated pellet pistol and single-shot gas one!!)

My cup runneth over.

Not the over 50 firearms I once owned, but, it’s a great beginning.  (I know, poor me.)  😛

So, what do I get in the email the other day?

Your Dream Gun Within Reach

One Gun One Gunsmith combined with oversized hand fit parts makes Nighthawk Custom pistols more expensive than assembly line guns. We know many of you dream of owning one “someday”, well someday is now today. With just 10% down and payments as low as $94 a month we have been able to make owning a work of American Craftsmanship attainable without having to cut corners.

The best part is, even if I had the down payment (which I don’t) with my trashed credit, there’s no way they would approve my application!

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t apply…

 

*We say collection.  Arsenal has developed a negative connotation.

 

(FTC – Nighthawk gave me nothing.  Apply for your own pistol!  My roomie has one she bought years ago.  It’s delightful!)

 

 

Hooray For Socialism!

(joke, or sarcasm, depending on your mood)

(from my friend Joel @ TUAK)

And the sign over the bread line read, “Honk if you love Socialism…”

…but there were no cars, because there was no fuel.

Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights[*] said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

Yup. The honchos in the Venezuelan government were embarrassed by bread lines. So, in a brilliant example of historical illiteracy – dovetailing nice with their economic illiteracy – they arrested a bunch of bakers.

Yeah. We need more government controls here.

Also I’m reminded I need to buy more flour when I’m in the big town next week…
100_1645


*Dig this: The National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights is apparently responsible for arresting people who get caught exercising what, in a sane society, would be their socioeconomic rights. Must be socialism.

AH!  Government at it’s best!  I would have said ‘at HER best’, but that would be insulting all femininity.

The Mouse On The Drain

(not to be confused with The Mouse On The Moon, or other Duchy of Grand Fenwick tales!)

“Welcome to the drain, gentlemen!”  😛

My roommate and I share both household upkeep and maintenance.  To the best of our abilities.  Between disabilities, health conditions, arthritis, age, pain and shared whining, sometimes things are not as pristine as either of us would like.

(The fact we both have an over-sufficient amount of ‘stuff’ doesn’t help, either!)

Of course, this had little to do with today’s story…

Being the male in the house, many (not all) of the yuckier tasks fall to me.  And sometimes, it’s just the “luck of the draw”.

Today was one of those days.

The past couple of days while visiting the shower, I noticed what we always called when I was married (back in the 80’s) the mouse on the drain.  That is, a disc of hair jetsam on top of the drain grate, starting to inhibit shower drainage.

Back in the 80’s, it was roughly the size of a half dollar, and easily disposed of.

And, of course, not wearing my corrective lenses in the shower, it could have been something else – as in this case it was, a small round grey plastic comb.  (My roomie and I share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom.)

And she does many hair-related things in there, with a multitude of chemicals and preparations.  I have shampoo and conditioner.

Fast forward to this morning.  Having picked up the plastic comb, I thought I’d be free of the ‘mouse on the drain’.

Not so fast, there, bucko!

The real mouse on the drain – or, in this case the rat or nutria(!), had wrapped itself into the workings of the grate, and was hanging (yuch!) down into the drain proper!!  And the shower floor was beginning to fill with water!

Fortunately, my hair is in need of cutting and is maybe a third of an inch long.  So, I’m thinking I’m not the main culprit. (ignoring body hair additions here for discretion).

I was able to complete my shower and listened to the slow-but-inevitable noisy drainage, fortunately before it crested into the bathroom proper.  Then, I picked up a proper tool to remove the drain cover (a long hemostat that is left in the bath for this very purpose – what earlier functions it may have had I can only imagine!  🙂  )

And took it upon myself to remove the long, tangled, fist-sized wet hair clumps from the grate and dispose of them.

After having done that, I policed the opening of the drain pipe for any additional hair/soap remnant escapees.

And replaced the grate.

I washed my hands and exited the bath.

I’m hoping next time I will notice the impending crest a day or so sooner.  And be able leave the mouse on the drain for someone else…

😛

Dude, I Want That!

Back-in-the-day, in a previous lifetime, I was married.  And, ‘the wife’ and I, like most young married folk, were poor.

NOT living on the street-out-of-dumpsters poor, but we weren’t yuppies…

And we spent much of our free time off together window shopping.  We would adjourn to one of the nicer malls and walk around, people watching, and looking agog at the clean, shiny goods in the various stores.

Most ALL of which we couldn’t afford.  It was cheap entertainment.

Now, here it is 35-ish years later.  I’m divorced (although my ex-wife lives about 1/4 mile N.E. of me, and we remain friends).  And walking long distances on tiled concrete is not something my legs and feet tolerate very well.

SO, as with many other things, I ‘live’ on the Internet!

Now, the nice thing about this (aside from wearing boxer shorts whist ‘window shopping’) are the myriad of shopping locations – Amazon, EBay, L.L.Bean, Brownells, Duluth Trading, Dillon Reloading.

But wait, there’s MORE! (as they intone on late night TV).

WERD and UNCRATE

and DUDE I WANT THAT!  🙂

Now I don’t know which came first – and I really don’t care (nor do I receive anything from them, FTC!), but these carbon copies of each other are wonderful merchants who market to MEN (and like-minded women) all manner of things through their respective retailers.

Subcategories in Uncrate

Subcategories in Werd

 

Just what every guy with spare funds needs to fritter about a weekend afternoon, purchasing everything from ecofriendly toothbrushes and razors, to rye whiskey and SUVs!

Or, if you are like me, just windows shops…

Everything that’s old is new again!

When It RAINS, It POURS!

visa(aka, back to whining, for a moment)

SO, I’m in-line @ the pharmacy, and my cell goes off.  As one is discouraged from taking calls in-line at the pharmacy, I demurred.

THEN, my med purchase is declined!  She tried to run it as a credit charge, again no go.

She advised I should step out-of-line and call my bank.  I did.

Turns out, someone attempted fraudulent charges on my Visa debit card in both Nevada and Florida!!  (I’m in AZ)

(Ironic happening to a former credit card fraud investigator, huh?)

My options were to go to an ATM, get cash for my prescriptions, then visit the credit union and have a new card issued.  Or, just visit the CU and have a new card issued.  My choice.  In any case, neither a debit nor credit charge was going through.

Sigh.

The Credit Onion is only 1 1/2 miles away, so I went for the more permanent fix.  And returned to get my meds.

Thank God it wasn’t on a Sunday, or after hours.  Or 1990, when I would have had to wait a week to 10 days for a new card!

It was annoying the hold on the phone was longer than the wait at the CU to get a replacement card.  And, the rep on the phone was difficult to understand, and was rude.  At least it sounded like Oklahoma and not India.  It’s also an annoyance I now have to memorize a new card number and security code!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post, sans whining!  Or with less whining…

The Mail Drops of Yore

mail drop(I can hear you now – “The mail drops of my what?“)

In 1972 P.P.S. (pre-Police State) my libertarian/anarchistic friends and I used to wax rhapsodic with regard to going ‘off the grid’, that is, if not actually living off-the-grid, having access to one or more alternative identities and addresses, just in case things got bad in the real world.  This came from watching too many spy movies and TV shows.

Of course, things are currently much worse than we ever dreamt in our worst nightmares.

In addition to getting (and renewing) State-issued driver licenses and passports, we though of birth certificates and credit cards, in the alternative identities.

We dreamt a lot.

Not that we were anticipating committing any felonies (in the early 70s, false identities usually were misdemeanors) but we had a healthy respect for the ever-encroaching power of government.  This was a just-in-case sort of thing.

But, we were young, and mostly stupid, and didn’t have the financial means to accomplish this.  And didn’t want to even commit misdemeanors.

Borepatch recently enlightened us about yet another chink in our alternative identity armor.  It seems the ubiquitous mail drop (public or private postal box address) has become more difficult to obtain, maintain and acquire, without giving one’s life away.

Seems the almighty government doesn’t like persons with truly private addresses…

Who knew?

I’m certain the smugglers, drug dealers and thieves who also utilize such services are obeying the law, much as the users of stolen firearms get all their proper documentation ducks in a row.  So, this added level of bureaucratic nonsense is about protecting us.

Right?

Road Trip

women and guns

No, not my roommate

I like women.  I like guns.  I’m funny that way.

I especially like it when women and guns get together.  Not much is better for me than to see a woman take control of her own personal security by owning a firearm, training with it, and carrying it!

Ah, there’s the rub.  Literally.

Most of my female shooting students have had difficulty over the years with the whole male-dominated gun culture.  And as a result, they either don’t carry or cannot find a comfortable way to carry which meets their needs.

Fortunately, just like firearms themselves evolving, the carry equipment industry has evolved, too.

My roommate has a number of .45s, mostly 1911s and mostly compact (for carry).  But what to do?  Like most women, she is structured differently. 🙂  And, she rarely wears pant belts, and it’s usually too hot here for a shoulder rig.

Then she ran across The Well-Armed Woman based on advice from you blog readers.  And what a find!

Numerous products for female carry.  Below the chest area, waistband (with and without belt), belly bands, and many other choices.  As they are HQ in North Scottsdale, we had to take a road trip.  And she spent money.  Got three concealment holsters of different varieties, and another (sigh) handbag – this one by Gun Tote’n Mamas!

There may be a little banging of the feminist drum, in that these businesses are for women, by women.  But Imarvin don’t care if the holsters and handbags are designed by Martians, as long as they do the job!

This far, my roomie loves her new stuff.  I sense another road trip in our future.

Guilty Pleasures

I’ve a number of guilty pleasures.  Most of the ones I can mention in this blog involve watching movies and television.

Those of you who know me know I was raised in the 50s and 60s by TV.  It’s one reason I became a PI.  Before I recently moved, I’d had basic cable for 10 years.  Basic.  No frills.
My roomie, being more of a television addict than I, had a satellite system.  During my addition to the household, we upgraded it.  We can now watch Underwater Argentinian Curling (while wearing bear suits) at 0300 broadcast in Swahili!  Not really, but our choices are quite varied.

We’ve been watching much dysfunctional TV.  Not as dysfunctional as the Kardashians or Jersey Shore, but there is some amusement and education.

We’ve been watching (among other things) Pawn Stars, Cajun Pawn Stars and Hardcore Pawn.

Pawn Stars is about the customers and staff in a prosperous Las Vegas pawn shop.  Cajun is headquartered in Alexandria, Louisiana, and Hardcore hails from Detroit.  All shops are family-owned and somewhat dysfunctional, but the real entertainment here is the customer base.  The Louisiana folks seem to be the the most genteel and polite, with Las Vegas following and Detroit brings up the rear.  It’s real culture shock to go from a customer in Alexandria exclaiming, “Thanks Mr. Jimmie, sorry we couldn’t do business!” to Detroit’s “Give me my m*****f***** money!”, followed by threats of violence.

Las Vegas and Alexandria occasionally brings in experts to value or grade such items as antique firearms or coins, before attempting a deal.  Detroit seems to thrive more on showing both the family and customer dysfunction.  I find that show in particular to be the most disturbing.

I come from a dysfunctional background.  Perhaps not as bad as these folks, but enough to make me grimace.  Perhaps I need to stick to Leave It To Beaver re-runs…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…