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dumb luck

This tag is associated with 39 posts

Guffaw, Now PLEASE!

I sometimes get frustrated with the ‘stuff of life’.  I’m disabled, on a small disability income, my 15-year old Oldsmobile is more or less parked for lack of funds for needed repairs, and with my disabilities regarding walking, standing or even sitting it is sometimes difficult or painful.  And a little less than two years ago I lost my home of 18 years.

Yes, sometimes I whine about other stuff, too.

BUT, I try to keep a stiff upper lip.  And keep chipping away at those things that I can do something about.

My stand-alone desktop computer has been waylayed for a little over a month.  For most folks having their home computer not functioning correctly is an annoyance, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal.

BUT, not being very ambulatory, and now even less mobile, it became readily apparent my computer is a window to the outside world.  My email, and 3-year-old blog being it’s primary functions.  I can talk back to the TV, but it rarely responds.

FORTUNATELY, my roommate J loaned me an old laptop she wasn’t using for me to keep up with the day’s events and continue to publish my blog (such as it is) daily, as I’ve done since March 6, 2011.

For this I am forever grateful.

Being less-than-competent with regard to computer/Internet stuff, I’ve not been able to diagnose the problem with my computer, determine if it was even repairable, or what the cost might be.

J left town to visit her daughter and become a tourist for the holiday weekend, and I’m left as the dog wrangler again.  This is okay, because I love the dogs (and the cat – more or less) and it gives me more time to try to move files to the laptop and play at fixing my old computer.

I DID IT!

Somehow, something inadvertently changed a couple of settings (not me!) – I changed them back (with about 100 missteps in the interim) and now the computer connects to the Internet, again!!

HUZZAH!

I’m using my original machine to write this!

This may not be watching a rose bloom, or being in love, or a new car, but DAMN I’m pleased!

pleased frogAND, I’ve been able to get my meds down, and an anxiously awaiting approval from the Leukemia, Lymphomia Society for Tuesdays go-ahead.

Time will tell. 

 

The ‘Latest’

Well, today I get to pick up my ‘films (‘from my last MRI and PET scan) and deliver them to the surgical center miles away, wherein this coming Monday I get to have another MRI (using those as maps) to obtain yet another MRI and lymph node biopsy.

The hope is the diversity of the samples will provide a better sample with which to produce a more precise chemotherapy cocktail with which to treat the lymphoma.

Hopefully, this can be concocted and administered later this week, or early next week.

(Just out of curiosity, why do the doctor’s rely on their patients to be messengers-some of whom are weak and ill?)

While they are in there, they they will also be doing an angiogram – just because they found a tiny problem they want to check.

Things aren’t complicated enough…

 

How to Safely Clear Your Home

(from The Art of Manliness)

How to Safely Clear Your Home

Click on the above link – it’s a substantial article!

Slicing the pie

Of course, I suspect most of you out there have a passing familiarity with how to do this.  I certainly do.  When I owned my two-bedroom, one bath 740 sq ft house (for 18 years), I was a victim of three burglaries!  And I cleared the house after each one.

And I was WRONG in so doing!

THIS IS WHAT THEY PAY THE POLICE FOR!  My ego and sense of violation got the better of me.  AND, I taught in every one of my classes to leave the scene and call the police.

(Those who cannot do teach?)

Still, it’s good to have this knowledge.  What if no police are available?

But, regardless, it should only be done in exigent circumstances…

How DOES One Pay It Forward?

When one is broke?

I have been so fortunate in this life.  Not in the money/riches sense, but in the helpful friends and family sense.

These most recent trials involving my roommate’s surgery (and subsequent loss of income), coupled with my own health issues (heart, rash, suspected clot) AND repair of the shower leaking through the ceiling (with an insurance deductible, and the insurance company promising they would pay for a hotel room – they didn’t(!)  They said the hotel wouldn’t take it (!?)

I’ve a Sister stepped up without my even asking, with the deductible.  That was eaten by the plumber and the hotel.  And other friends have come forward to make certain I would have a positive bank balance(!)

The insurance company said, as the hotel refused their method of payment, that we could subtract the hotel charges from the deductible.  Making today’s visit from the adjuster forty-one dollars and change!

We actually have that.

Will wonders never cease?

But, back to the question.  I’ve been told by my generous friends that there is no balance sheet, and, when I am able, to pay it forward.

I’m on permanent disability, and have no savings left, nor credit!  Exactly HOW am I supposed to pay it forward?

And, I have some other payments due shortly with which my friends traditionally assist.

(As an aside, I certainly do not feel worthy of such help, or friends.  How they made such determinations is beyond me.)

To all of you (and you know who you are) I have undying gratitude and thanks for all the help you have given me over the years.

I just don’t know why I deserve such help, or how to pay it forward?

Don’t Do Anything Rash! (The Adventure Continues…)

SO…

I go to see my primary doctor yesterday afternoon.  She confirms ‘yes’, I DO have a rash of undetermined origin, now permeating most of my body.  My edema in my right calf is of significant size, and has NOT diminished when horizontal.

She prescribes a synthetic corticosteroid to deal with the rash.  She is MORE concerned about the edema.

She sends me to a diagnostic center for an ultrasound of the leg.  (I must drive myself, as J. is still recovering from her shoulder surgery and cannot drive.)

It’s either this, or she admits me to the hospital.  She’s concerned I might have a blood clot(!)

So, it’s back from central Phoenix to Chandler (nearer to where I live) for the imaging.  It’s approaching 1700, but they are waiting for me. (My doc has pull!)

I wore sandals I don’t usually wear, so she could get a better look at my legs and feet (wrestling with socks and ‘Ed’ the really big shoe can be difficult when swollen.  The sandals are uncomfortable and make driving difficult.

And I cannot afford to Uber.

J. is with me for moral support and to listen to my cursing.

Finally, we find the place and I get the ultrasound.  NO CLOTS!  😛  They contact my doc, who prescribes a broad spectrum antibiotic and schedules me to return Friday @ 1300 for follow-up.  She does this all herself and makes certain she speaks with me about diet to accompany the antibiotic.  Initially, I missed her call (loud surroundings) and she called back and left a message.  Then she kept calling until she could speak with me personally.

I have a great physician!

The Good News is I picked up the meds.  The Bad News is neither is recommended for evening use.  So, another night of calamine lotion looms.

I think I received three hours of sleep.  J. has another physical therapy appointment this afternoon.  AND I TOOK MY FIRST PREDNISONE THIS MORNING!  😛

C’mon work!

Time will tell.  It’s been about two hours, and I feel slightly less itchy.  (Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking?)

I will keep everyone advised.  (No Clots – Hooray!)  😛

Don’t Do Anything Rash!

I’m a generally ‘healthy’ guy.  Considering I survived premature birth, numerous childhood diseases, my leg disability, a serious car accident, diabetes, skin cancer and lymphoma!

When I get sick, it’s rare.  And it’s NEVER a slight cold…

Thursday last, I developed some edema in my right (disabled) leg.  A fairly common occurrence for me – usually laying down (like sleeping) and it goes away.

Only this time, it didn’t.

And it was followed on Friday by a rash around my right ankle!  This rash grew, and now, in varying degrees, covers my entire body! (except my head)

Accompanied by the requisite itching and burning as one expects with rashes.

No fever, no blistering, just discoloration and itch.

(NO, it’s not shingles. – I DID have chicken pox – TWICE!)

The earliest I can get in to see my primary physician is tomorrow (Wednesday) @ 1500.  (ERs and urgent care facilities are not an option – they cost money!)

Baby powder with aloe, and calamine lotion are my friends!  Sadly, all Benadryl seems to do is knock me out.

The ‘doctor of the Internet’ (always a dangerous place to go) runs the gamut from you have a rash to you are going to die!

My semi-educated guess is I was taking ibuprofen for my arthritis (more than the standard dose), and reached the limit.

Hopefully, my doc will make a correct diagnosis and provide a remedy.  🙂

I will advise, as I know more.

 

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!)

 

 

POTD: Watch Your Hands When You Unload And Show Clear

(from TFB)

POTD: Watch Your Hands When You Unload And Show Clear

A shooter was unloading his handgun when this happened. From what Scott relayed to me, was that the shooter cups the ejection port to catch the round to save time from picking it up off the floor. Now to clarify, this was not a malfunction. It was not a FTF and the primer was never struck. What happened was that during the unloading process the shooter’s hand covers the ejection port. The round most likely ejected into the hand but since the hand was so close to the ejection port it got caught between the slide and barrel.

Take a look at the picture below. You can see the primer lacks any hammer mark. However there is a clear crease from the edge of the slide cutting into the headstamp of the casing. If you look at the photo at the very top, you can see the bullet has a vertical line cut into it as well.

By cupping the round as it ejected out and it getting caught on the slide as the slide tried to close, the round went off in the shooter’s hand.

Here is what Scott relayed to me:

The following is a story relayed to me. I do not have first hand knowledge of this, but I do trust the source.

The pictures are of a recovered case and projectile after a shooter attempted to eject a live round during an unloading evolution. The shooter covered the ejection port with his hand and attempted to capture the live round rather than letting it eject freely from the ejection port. The round was trapped, under pressure of the recoil spring, in-between the edge of the ejection port along the edge of the breach face and the front of the ejection port on the right side of the slide.

There is a noticeable linear denting on the nose of the projectile and an obvious strike point on the rear of the case and the primer. The projectile could not escape and the resulting effect was for the case to burst. The pressure from the burning propellent was absorbed by the shooter’s hand. He will not be able to make this mistake again.

It is a sobering lesson for many shooters. No one ever really believes that this could happen to them.

I have seen some people use this technique in USPSA. I have seen people eject the round and catch it in the air as well. Be careful and pay attention. The scenario above could be considered a sheer accident. However if the shooter did not use that ejection method then there is less likely of a chance such an event would have occurred.

h/t Scott B.

I have used this technique on occasion.  Usually not (thankfully).  When it comes to safety, I think being safe is preferable to looking cool.

Interestingly, there is no picture of the shooter’s hand…

Facebook Has Become The Weekly World News!

(Originally, I was going to say The National Enquirer, but that periodical appears to have achieved more gravitas of late than The New York Times and Time magazine, combined!)  🙂

Let’s see.  In the past week…

  • Hillary WILL DEFINITELY be indicted
  • Hillary WILL DEFINITELY NOT be indicted
  • Global Warming is real (as determined by bribed/blackmailed scientists)
  • Oklahoma Fracking is causing the increased earthquake activity there (as determined by the same ‘team’ of scientists)
  • Assange states Wikileaks will release astounding information damning to Hillary in the next couple of days. – from Saturday last  (We’re still waiting, Julian!)
  • GMO foods are killing us.
  • Vaccinating is bad
  • Vaccinating is good.
  • More BEE species are facing extinction (due to Monsanto pesticide and GMO development)
  • Big corporations (like Monsanto) are bad.  Just because they are big, and make money.
  • Hillary will win (because the fix is in, ballot box stuffing, voter fraud, Soros, Illuminati, etc.)
  • Hillary will win (based on some Quija board predictions in the past – see Groundhog Day)
  • Trump will win (see above Hillary win stuff for reasons)

One thing I have noticed.  Many of the same scientists are aligned with the same forces who believe in global warming, are anti-GMO and ANTI-vaxxer types, and have the ‘humans are bad for the Earth’ (and obtaining oil is bad, and think we need a global government to solve everything) way of thinking.

IF YOU HAVE NOT VOTED, PLEASE DO SO.  IF NOT, YOU WILL HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN.

Thank GOD today is Election Day, and it will all be over soon!

One way or another…

God save The United States of America, from herself!

 

 

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!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…