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The Best Laid Schemes Of Mice And Men

aft gang agley* (oft go awry – Robert Burns, the poet laureate of Scotland)

I’d plans to ‘improve’ and edit my blog, prior to the Sixth Blogoversary (March 5).  I definitely need to edit out of The Usual Suspects (my blogroll) those who are no longer blogging, or have left the grid.

I have not yet done that. 😦

A general observation of my blogging world – It saddens my to two of the finest bloggers out there (Brigid and Tamara) have had to change their blogging formats to by invitation only (in Brigid’s case) and no comments allowed (in Tam’s), both allowing for responses in other venues (FB and Borepatch guest blogging status (in Brigid’s case).

Because of attacks in print by certain blog readers!

I’ve had a few spammers in my six years, but considering the difference in volume and quality of Brigid and Tamara vs. Guffaw, it’s completely understandable I’ve had many fewer.

I will continue my lowly blog, until it no longer is physically possible, or I lose the need for morning discipline and structure.

We come now to one of my first Internet-blogging friends.  Rev. Paul.  Paul lives in Alaska with his family, and has been a virulent supporter of both this blog and this blogger!  His blog Way Up North is rife with tales of the weather, local crime, politics, and moose pictures(!)  And often religiously-themed (he IS a Rev., after all) messages of hope for all, whether religious or not.

He announced recently he will be cutting back from almost daily posting to occasionally.  Because reasons.

And, this too, makes me sad.

All three of these fine folks have been anchors for me, have given me much which to aspire, and have supported me to a degree they will never know.

It was said a few years back that blogging is going the way of the dinosaur, what with FB, Snapchat, Flickr, Google+, Twitter, and numerous other avenues almost daily being added to the list of social networking.

To all fellow bloggers and friends out there, please keep blogging, reading and commenting.

I’m to old to change formats!  😛

*”Tae a Moose, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough[1] (English: “To a Mouse“)(Wikipedia)

From a name-long-forgotten children’s joke book:  “Robert Burns wrote ‘To A Field Mouse’.

“I bet he didn’t get an answer!”

(The fact this was a joke book for grade school children further shows how the American public education system has failed.  Ask any grade school (or junior high, or even high school) student who Robert Burns was, or what ‘To A Field Mouse’ is.)

I’ll bet you won’t get an answer!

It’s March Fifth, Again! 

from the desk of GUFFAW

from the desk of GUFFAW

Back in 2011, I had been laid off from TMCCC, disabled due to having had lymphoma, and had been spending a large part of my day reading blogs on the Internet.

No, this was NOT in my mother’s basement!  😛

Frankly, as I had found a number of women who were shooters who wrote blogs (they became my Blogmothers ™!), I had hoped to find someone closer to home.  Unfortunately, they were in Indiana, Ohio and Idaho.

I’m in Arizona.

But, I had no luck in the geography department…  😦

After a year-and-a-half, it occurred to me, ‘Hey, I could do this!’ (or, at least mimic others, and steal their material…)

And Guffaw in AZ was born.

So now it’s YEAR SIX!

Posting something DAILY (sometimes two, three or four posts).  Daily funnies, beauties, videos and quotes, additionally.

With no real purpose, except to have something to do, and a daily discipline.

And the completely unexpected happened.

I MADE FRIENDS!

Friends all over the World!  Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Pakistan and India, South America.  Mostly, of course, in the United States.

A huge thank you goes out to the generosity of people I only know through the Internet, who have offered me support, both moral and financial.  And given me gifts!  You know who you are…

I miss those who are no longer blogging, by choice or life circumstance – North, Matt, Maura, CoolChange, William the Coroner and many others.  (If I’ve left you off the list and you are still around, please forgive me).

I am SO GRATEFUL for (in no particular order) Bobbi, Tam, Doc in Yuma, Ron, Proud Hillbilly, Paul, Kevin Baker and the other Kevin, Southern Belle and KX59, Tom, Biff, Keads, Bluesun, Wirecutter, Jim, Greg, Kenny, Quizikle, Sean, Irish, Jeffery and Wilson.

And especially Murphy, Brigid, ASM826 and Borepatch!  And Judy, my roomie!

And my dear friend Dave the genius (who prefers to be called Dave the mechanic) who sends me multiple funnies daily to possibly include in the blog!  And who – when he is in town – takes me out for Red Devil pizza!  And who has been a loyal friend since 1973.

And to all you loyal folks who don’t blog or even leave comments but bother to stop by – THANK YOU!

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13,669 comments

On to 2018?

PS – (Why Tamara is in red, above) Apologies to the lovely and talented Tamara, who somehow was left off my gratitude list last year!  A correction has been made, and I plan on penance by shooting myself in the knee with a VeloDog, as soon as I can afford one!

PPS – TMCCC  (for the uninitiated) stands for That Major Credit Card Company, where I worked as a credit card fraud investigator for almost 22 years.

 

 

H & K’s New Guns!

(from TFB, in part)

BREAKING: HK Releases SFP9 L, SFP9 SK, Maritime and Optics Ready Pistols

sfp

Heckler and Koch has just announced a few additions to their polymer pistol lineup. Known as the VP9 in the United States and SFP9 in Europe, H&K is adding the much awaited long slide SFP9 L and compact SFP9 SK variants to the current SFP9/VP9 offerings. Digging a little deeper, you’ll find a Maritime model as well as an Optics Ready model.

A few interesting features: One, there’s an option for either a push button or paddle magazine release. Two, optional 20 round magazines. Three, an optional manual safety lever.

Obviously we need to dig deeper into the specifications for other hidden gems. But the announcement will obviously elate H&K fans everywhere.

(the article here)

Is this a tempest in a teapot?  Does this appeal to the civilian market?  Is it even available to the civilian market?  And, most importantly:

They are H & K pistols, not known for their customer service.  Do we really want specialty firearms we cannot get repaired, should they need it?

“Why are they making these?  To sell, of course!” (Jeff Cooper)

What do you guys think?

Glock To Army On SIG MHS Contract: Not So Fast

(from Free North Carolina)

Glock is protesting the military’s decision to replace its current sidearm with the relatively new SIG P320-based XM17. The military selected the SIG design to replace the aging Beretta M9 series pistols in service late last year.

The protest, filed with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, needs a response from the U.S. Army Materiel Command by June 5th of 2017.

Until the Army responds to the protest the switch from Beretta pistols to SIG pistols will not move forward. Time will tell if this is a business formality or if it will alter the course of the Army’s hunt for their next sidearm.

More @ Guns America
Last I knew, Glock didn’t have any U.S. production facilities (?)  Kinda a deal breaker if they somehow ultimately win this p***ing contest.
(Of course, how long it would take to establish one? – witness Beretta)
I like Glocks.  I like Sigs.  The general consensus amongst gun folks (based on my tiny, unscientific sample) is that either one would be sufficient.
Time, or rather the DOD, will tell!

Toy Gun Memories

As it states in the ‘about’ part of the blog, I’m a child of the 50’s.  Television, movies, play, were all about The Lone Ranger, Space Command, Warner Bros. cartoons, Forbidden Planet, The Untouchables, and all other manner of sanitized violence.

And my green, wooden toy box reflected that.

It was filled with cars, trucks, robots, construction equipment, tools, and yes, toy guns.  Including a multitude of cap guns and rifles-that-made-noise, play bullets and all manner of boy’s toys.  Not a doll in sight.

Sadly, when my Dad married my step-mother, the toy box was moved to the exterior of the house.  Wouldn’t want Guffaw’s toys to clutter the house, now would we?  😦

And, as I advanced in grade school, I played with them less.  This meant my Mattel™ Fanner Fifty (with left-handed holster!), Detective Special (both re-loadable with Matty Mattel bullets and ignited with Greenie Stickum Caps), the construction gear, cars, tools, and everything else were subjected to the elements.

And eventually discarded.  😦

(My friend Leigh’s parents did film me in full cowboy regalia once, reenacting some scene from a forgotten cowboy TV show, running, jumping, rolling into prone, drawing and shooting one of my cap guns.  Of course, the 8mm home movie is probably long lost.)  😦

This was when children played outside!

But, boys are nothing but ingenious!  🙂

My friends and I began constructing rubber-band guns, using scraps of wood we ‘found’ at housing construction sites.  (Hey, we had to have guns!)

a less-refined version of this

a less-refined version of this

Affix a spring closepin to one end, stretch a rubber band (or a series of them for greater distance) and viola’!  A toy gun with which we could play cowboy, or soldier, or spy, or whatever.

Of course, we were never happy with the limited distance or inaccuracy.  (Sound familiar?)

As we got into the 5th and 6th Grade, we clamored for more.

So we attached the rubber bands to the wood (ala a slingshot) and began looking for projectiles to shoot!  Obviously, after a few misadventures with pebbles and bent bobbie-pins, we made the universal decision to not shoot one another.

For safety sake.

Of course, escalation lead to model rockets, amateur rockets, BB guns, and eventually real guns.  Always something to shoot.

And, we still don’t shoot each other.

This isn’t South Chicago…

 

Another January 26, But Different

You know me and anniversaries.

This is the day my Mom passed, in the 50’s.  I was just a little kid.

This is the day, 1n 2009, lymphoma reared it’s head.  I am now in remission (cancer free!)  🙂

So January 26 doesn’t hold many positive memories for me.

Except one. 

wp-image-2037229698jpg.jpg

In 1967 (correct from the previously reported 1966), my beloved Sister Ellie gave birth to a son. Who ultimately married, fathered four wonderful children (one of whom is autistic – and is doing spectacularly in his own right!). And in spite of divorce has remained a terrific, supportive, loving father to all.

He is my nephew Brian (aka Skeets). And I couldn’t be more proud as he turns 50 today!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIAN!50th-birthday-cake-7

The Twelve Labors Of Hercules 

Hardly. 

But trying, nevertheless.

With my knee being ‘iffy’, and The Horrible Chair, just going downstairs can be a challenge.

And, when my roommate having breathing difficulties and sometimes staying in bed, it’s up to me to be  (as my Father would label himself) the chief cook and bottle washer!

That is, take care of the livestock and fetch medicines, water, soda and food for the ‘infirmed’.

I’ve no complaint about so doing – after all, it was my roommate who saved me from possibly having to live on the street with my income decreased and I lost my home.

The ‘problem’ (and this is a joke, folks) is the livestock in question sometimes makes it difficult to do chores.  Because, they, too, want attention.

Or just to be in the way!

The first hurdle is (are?) the stairs.  I know, not livestock.  But just going down them can be painful.  And sometimes the kitten (Belle) plays the ‘can I trip him on the stairs’ game.  (Does this count as a second hurdle?)

Belle

Belle

Hurdle Two – the Cage.  (In no way resembling Star Trek-TOS episode!)  We have taken to giving the livestock the run of the downstairs.  We used to pen up the older dogs in the downstairs bath-as a makeshift kennel.  And that worked for many years.  But, as they have aged (both 16 now), their hearing and vision has diminished.  And D.J., especially, gets scared in the dark when he cannot move about freely.  This wouldn’t be a problem, except he starts barking.  One yelp every eight seconds or so.  ALL NIGHT.  Or until he finally falls asleep.  The yelping resumes when he awakens – even at 0300!  Letting them go free gives them enough ambient light to patrol the downstairs and see enough not to bark.

D.J.

D.J.

Unless, of course, a stray cat appears in the back yard.  No plan is perfect.

(Back to the cage)  We have a ‘cage’ kennel we have used for Lola (the puppy-now two, but forever nicknamed as such) which also is just the right size to block the dogs from going upstairs.  They are supposed to use the designated paper by the back door, but sometimes they like to sneak to the upper landing.  And we don’t like that.

Lola

Lola

SO, I’ve descended the stairs, and prepare to move The Cage out-of-the-way, when Gracie becomes involved.  She likes to sit on top of said cage and add an addition three or four metric tons to it’s weight.  HER nickname is BAC – for Big Ass Cat!  Plus, she can be kinda snotty if asked to move and might hiss at you!

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Now that we’ve made it down the stairs, and moved the cage, there’s the kitten, again.  No, she’s not gone away.  If I walk past The Horrible Chair, she will jump up on the seat and demand tribute!  Which means flopping over and belly rubs!  (the cat, not me)  I must admit this is not much of a trial, and rubbing the belly of a purring kitten is quite pleasant.  😛

tribute

tribute

She can continue with an additional trial, following me incessantly and meowing tiny mews, until I either fill up the water, the food, or change the cat box.  She always lets me know.  But every time I walk by The Horrible Chair I must pay!  🙂

Okay, okay!  I know.  Animals are a blessing, and three (or four) interactions with them first thing in the morning is great! (Except for the B.A.C.!)

And four is not twelve.  Perhaps I need to rethink this.  But The Three or Four Challenges of Hercules just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  😛

It’s The SIG Sauer P320!

(from TFB in part)

MHS Contract Awarded To The SIG Sauer P320!

The Sig Sauer P320 was selected as the winner of the Modular Handgun System contract on January 19th, 2017. This was the largest weapons contract that the Department of Defense has awarded in the last 32 years for a small arms replacement program. You can read the full details over at The Firearm Blog at the below link.

Breaking Story on The Firearm Blog: http://bit.ly/2jIiPtD

This story has come out the past few days, obviously overshadowed by political events of the day.

(It’s difficult to imagine we’ve had the Beretta M9 for 32 years!)

Of course, special ops/special team folks will still get to carry that which they choose, I imagine(?)  Like the venerable 1911 and the Seals’ Sig Sauer P226.

There has been a back and forth thing with Sig Sauer regarding U.S. versus European production over the past few years.  I imagine U.S. production will be required to pick up for the increased demand.  And production security.

If I had the funds, I’d like to own one.  (I don’t).  I did have a Beretta back-in-the-day as well as a number of 1911s.

1911s are my first choice.  I’m old-school.  🙂

More Wisdom From The Queen

…of SNARK! (Tamara, of course!)

Lessons from ECQC…(in part)

ECQC changed my life.

For instance, since ECQC I’ve finally started practicing something I’d long preached and began carrying a can of Fox Labs OC around with me. It’s become more important to me to have a solid middle ground option between “harsh language” and “bust a cap in someone’s ass”.

It’s made me think a lot more about deescalation, how persistence does not automatically equal threat, that presenting a weapon (or even revealing its presence) without the space or time to employ it correctly can cause a lot more problems than it solves. Letting a guy who’s within a dozen feet of you know you have a gun doesn’t necessarily deter him; it just lets him know you have a gun. It’s up to him whether that’s a deterrent or not.

Physical fitness has become more important to me, too. All tangled up under someone who’s beating your ass and about to pull your gun out and shoot you with it isn’t the time to find out you’re completely out of breath, too.

That gets me out the door every morning, and I’d about ready to look into adding some simple calisthenics to what’s already become a routine mile walk. Baby steps, but I’m already healthier now than I’ve been in years.

I’m OLD.  Well, older than Tam.  Disabled.  Infirmed.  Overweight.  Have chronic pain issues.

With regard to PT (physical training), well, it just doesn’t happen.  I am truly an armchair adventurer (with apologies to LTC Brown)

But reading of Tam’s adventures and commitment has my motor running. (if nothing else).  I know, based on my age and infirmities that I will not ever have the physique of a Navy Seal.

But I need to do something.

I just signed up for a Medicare Advantage Plan.  Part of the coverage is I can go to any gym and work out!  (under a program called Silver Sneakers).  It’s about time I do SOMETHING.

We’ll see whether or not I’m motivated to do so…

Guffaw – Now Less Gun Poor!

(as an unintended follow up to my previous post)

I’ve recounted from time-to-time in these pages about having slowly developed a small collection of firearms, only to have the 800 pound safe and her contents of the same removed in my absence.

Fifty-one guns?  An ‘arsenal’ to some.

Then Life events significantly decreased my income, making it impossible for me to rebuilt my collection.  Sad to be sure.

Thursday last, Thanksgiving, was coincidental with my birthday.  And, with the exception of one greeting card (from my insurance agent) no other cards or gifts were received.  Even though three folks did gift me with musical versions of one birthday song or another – which were nice gestures.

It would have been nice to receive a gift of some kind, though…(I’m NOT asking!)

Moving into Friday, my lovely sister took me to lunch at my favorite pizza place, and gifted me with a card and CASH!  Not enough for new (or used) ordinance, but very surprising and special nevertheless.

THANK YOU!

Upon returning home, my roommate was sitting on the couch, watching TV, and playing with her firearms.  She has a small collection, including a couple I gifted her with when we were dating.

She hands me her Sig Sauer P245 (one of the aforementioned gifts – after clearing it, of course) and states, “Happy Birthday! And Merry Christmas!”

(Me) “Wha…?”

After wrestling a few moments with the moral implications of her giving me my gift back as a gift, I said, “Thank you!”

I now have my trusted 1911 (the Bob Hall Signature Model), the S&W 442 electroless nickel, a single-shot pellet pistol sent me by an Internet friend a couple years ago, and the Sig Sauer P245.

My collection is being rebuilt – slowly!

Good things come to those who wait – sometimes even if they are impatient and brooding.

🙂

 

not precisely as pictured

not precisely as pictured

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…