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I Always Thought I Could Be A Comedian…

I didn’t necessarily WANT to be, but thought I could!

I always appreciated silly – The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Abbott and Costello,‘It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’, Warner Brothers cartoons, Steve Allen. Ernie Kovacs.  Then, as I grew up, my tastes moved to The Firesign Theatre and Monty Python.  George Carlin was a god!

I remember returning from a long high school choir trip, standing in the back of the bus and mimicking Carlin’s first album for anyone who would listen.  Word for word, intonation for intonation.  The man taught me timing.

And then there’s Dennis Miller.  “I haven’t seen choreography like that since the Lee Harvey Oswald prison transfer!”  In his own words, “Viva la referencia obscura!”

I began considering doing stand-up comedy in my mid-twenties.  After all, my good friend Biff Jannuzzi (who authored the one-act play about the Lincoln assassination ‘A Booth in the Back’), did it!   Then, I met a friend of his, Tom (a buddy of his in the local little theater group), who changed my mind.  I was quick, clever with a comeback, witty, and thought I was all that.

Tom was quicker, faster with a comeback and wittier.

So, Tom was a stand-up comedian? (You ask)

Nope.

He sold used cars at one of those buy-here, pay here joints.  Jake the Snake’s Garden of Gears!  Down in the sketchy part of town.

His talent and ability was ten times mine, and he was selling cars.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

“A man has to know his limitations.” – Inspector Harry Callahan

The Wire 

As recounted here in previous episodes, I LIKE movies and TV.

Also recounted, I don’t always access current stuff, i.e I didn’t watch Star Trek (TOS) in prime time; the mini-series John Adams until years after the fact.

So it was with The Wire. Dave (the mechanic) recommended it highly.  I don’t think I had HBO when it was first broadcast…

We found ourselves ‘between seasons’ on regular, commercial television.  And had been re-running shows we liked (ranging from Friends to Person-of-Interest) until we started mumbling the dialog under our breath.

Thank God for ‘The Hopper™’!

It was time for something new, to us at least.

And we remembered The Wire

Five years, sixty episodes. Gritty inner city drama about the workings of the police, unions, organized crime and politics.

Sax and violins galore.

With no censor (it was HBO, after all)!

If I had $1 for every time I heard the word M…..F…..

Well, you get the idea.

Well cast and acted. A tight script which kept you guessing.  Some good guys who were bad – some misguided.  Some bad guys trying to be good. Others just evil.

The Internet tells us many of the background cast we actual people from the street.  I’m certain this lowered production costs, but also added to the realism.

I recommend it.  But make certain the children are asleep in their beds.

In another State.

Lest they listen and start repeating M…..F……

Or the ubiquitous ‘N’ word!

OK, So Which Is It? 

As my Dad used to say, “I used to be young and foolish; I’m not young, anymore!”

I remember going to a local pizza parlor chain with ‘Gramp’, my beloved maternal grandfather.

We’d split a sausage pizza; he’d get a draught beer (Schlitz?) – me, a soda. (I was a kid).

But he’d always say,” We’re going to have an apizz.” 

And, I thought he was weird and corrected him.

Well, I was wrong. 

Gramp was from Hamden, Connecticut, arguably the birthplace (New Haven area) of (thin crust) American pizza!

There are businesses there advertising APIZZ, not PIZZA!

As there have been for over one hundred years. 

Turns out, the Italian immigrants who settled this region were from Naples, and made Margherita  (thin crust) pizza.

And called them ‘apizz’.

8. APIZZA

Perhaps less well-known, although no less delicious, is New Haven-style pizza, known in local vernacular as apizza. New Haven-style is thin like New York pizza, but if you walk into an apizza parlor and order a “plain,” you’ll get one without mootz (pronounced as foots), or mozzarella.

Apizza and mootz both come from the dialect of Naples immigrants who arrived in the area in the early 1920s. Apizza is pronounced uh-BEETs, with a silent final A.  (Mental Floss)

While we’re on the subject, some parts of the country call them ‘pizza pies’.

3. PIE OR PIZZA?

While to east coasters, it might feel perfectly natural to say “pie” when referring to a whole pizza, not so for those in other regions. In an informal poll I conducted, “pie” was described by west coasters as “pretentious” and “only something someone in a movie would say,” while one Brooklynite described those who didn’t use “pie” as “heathens.” The reason for this sharp divide is unclear. (Mental Floss)

Others, no mention of pie (some places think you are requesting a dessert!)

Great.  Now I’m hungry, with no pizza places open (0730 AZ time)! (And this is the 5th largest metropolitan area of the United States!  A travesty!)

Doesn’t matter, I’m broke, anyway…

Okay, So Mr. Suarez And I Disagree On Some Things

I’ll begin by saying I’ve admired Gabe Suarez and his works for many years.  Long-time blog readers of GiA will also know I am a disciple of Jeff Cooper.

Having said that, I am not inflexible.  Of course, I do not have the financial means to make changes to my armament and ammunition at a moments notice.

Here is what Mr. Suarez had to say recently regarding how he differs from Col. Cooper’s teachings, and their history together  (from Facebook):

THE SUAREZ SYSTEM – HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Thursday, June 08, 2017

I was asked how the Suarez material differs from the Modern Technique invented/codified by Jeff Cooper. Here it is…a long read, but it sets down the historical context.

I attended Gunsite in 1990. Cooper was there as were a few of the current “stalwarts” for the modern technique, a couple of SEALs and an entire group of LAPD SWAT with 1911s. I was running my issued weapon, as crappy as it was, a Smith & Wesson 5906 that had been tuned up by Steve Deladio in Long Beach, CA. While I was open minded, I did have some ideas about what was what since I had been working around criminals, gang members and killers for five years.

I had not been in a gunfight yet, but I was around alot of guys who had. In the end, I got top score and won the shootoff, against all of those guys. Cooper and I became friends, and I attended Gunsite every year until 1995. So one could say I became well versed in the Modern Technique. In Cooper’s words in the Intro to Tactical Pistol he described me as, although I would never use them to describe myself, “a master pistolero”. I say that only to illustrate my understanding of the modern technique.

The Modern Technique was born in the competitive field, not the battlefield. I didn’t read this…Cooper told me. The exercise was a man versus man shootoff, involving a draw from the holster, at some ten yards. In that sense, the competition was in fact open. And for that problem, some trends began to emerge. Below eye level shooting, or any moving while drawing – while quite popular with men like Askins, and Bryce, and other accomplished killers for close up shooting – didn’t work so well in that interval.

And since the goal was to hit before the other man hit, there was no need to move or use cover. What won was standing at ease, bringing the pistol up to eye level with both hands, and using the sights. When one man won, others emulated his method and also won.That is the over riding problem with sporting events derived from martial pursuits.

And Cooper, ever the academic, studied and identified the trends, duplicating it in his works.

Now, I respect Cooper’s memory and was proud to call him my friend. And I will say that he was not as close minded as his followers are. I shared the gunfight where I discovered “getting off the X” with him and he said that under those circumstances, it was a brilliant move. I still have that letter somewhere, and I know he mentioned it in his newsletter.

Between my intro to the Modern Technique and the height of my teaching career, I had the good fortune to be in a few gunfights…as the primary shooter. I also investigated a great number of shootings between bad guys and a few with good guy versus bad guys. I began to see trends that the modern technique did not address. As well the gunfight I told Cooper about where the concept of moving off the target line while drawing and shooting was crystallized for me, revealed many shortcomings in the MT methods.

In those days there was no internet or Google. Knowledge was passed on either via scholarly articles in police journals (forget getting anything of value in the gun rags of the day) – or via word of mouth.

In that gunfight, my third I think it was, although alert, I was in a reactive state. I moved to avoid being shot and shot back without a perfect sight picture and killed my adversary. I noted all of this and sought answers. Eventually I came across the works of John Boyd and the OODA cycle which explained in detail why my tactic of movement had allowed me to prevail in a situation where we otherwise would have shot each other. The study continued and by the close of my police career I had used that same method several times with success.

There was no force on force back then. There was Simunitions which was extremely expensive and being a UK company, they despised the idea of lowly civilians using their equipment. Some guys basically stole the gear (I actually mean borrowed for a lengthy period) from their agencies to train, but that was rare…and still is.

As well the anal-retentive range practices precluded anything other than a stationary stand and deliver training system. Eventually however, we brought in Airsoft and worked the training, simulating gunfights over and over and over. We determined that the initiative (who had started things) would determine the successful tactics of each party. We determined that moving kept you safe, while standing, or ceasing movement lead to you getting shot. We also determined those weaver stances, isosceles stances, or any hold on the weapon that was “stance dependent” was untenable in a close range reactive gunfight.

In 2004 or 2005 we had a Force On Force class…the first one, in Las Vegas. I set guys up facing each other at five yards. Armed with airsoft pistol analogs to their real weapons, and suitably protected with face masks, I told them to “GO”. This simulated a true gunfight to a far greater degree than any range exercise these men had ever seen before.

We had extremely accomplished Modern Technique guys totally change their perspectives on gunfighting after that class. We had “Combat Masters” from Taylor’s and Front Sight get their asses handed to them by first time attendees, school teachers, doctors, and students who understood what we were teaching.

And we have been developing it more and more and more ever since. I will tell you and anyone on earth that the gunfighting system taught at the Suarez School is by far the best system to keep you alive in a gunfight, and to help you kill your enemy at the same time. That was the beginning of “our system”.

Now to differences –

Specifically the Modern Technique relies heavily of being alert. In the modern world that is not always possible, and we know that while we try to be thus, the distractions of modern life will impede our incessant “Yellow”. We differ in that we understand the natural inclination, as well as the fact that if one is alert, he will often avoid/evade most problems.

Gunfighting is for when you were taken by surprise and so, a strong reactive understanding is essential. So MT is proactive, which happened maybe half the time. We do not ignore it, but we do not fixate on it either. Our system begins at reactive since that is where most lone operators will be when they realize they need to kill the other man.

Secondly we have the Weaver stance. Perhaps men are stronger today than they were in those days, but we have found in proactive shooting there is no need for the dynamics of the weaver stance with a moderately developed upper body and hand strength. All one has to do is look at what the world’s champion shooters use and you will not find weaver stances there. Often times what is needed is simply getting the weapon out quickly and punching it forward, working the trigger as you do so. Watch a force on force event and you will not see any weaver or isosceles stances. You will see a great deal of one handed shooting.

Next is the matter of Flash Sight Picture. This is but one step in a long continuum of visual references with regard to the handgun. On one extreme you have the pistol just clearing the holster, and the operator relying on pure body index and proximity to the threat. Midway we have meat and metal…the meat of the bad guy surrounding the metal image of the slide. And eventually, arms at full extension, eyes fully on the front sight or red dot, and pure marksmanship at hand. So we do not ignore the “flash sight picture” but it is not a complete use of the sights, or the body indexes either.

The next MT component is Compressed Surprise Break. Again, like the issue of the sights, working the trigger is far more involved with respect to the dynamics of the fight than merely a compressed surprise break. There are times when mashing the trigger just as fast and as hard as you can is called for. Other times we work it like a sniper rifle. All of this, and the way we work the sights is based on distance interval, and the degree of initiative you have in the fight.

Finally, the Semi-automatic pistol in a large caliber. Cooper and his men were very fond of the 1911 in 45 ACP. I don’t carry one of those. I carry a Glock 9mm. I have seen men shot with modern 9mm anti-personnel ammo and have never seen the failures we hear about in the old articles. We have several ER doctors who report that there is virtually no difference between 9mm and the other calibers. So I feel well armed, as do those who know, with a modern 9mm pistol. As well we do not subscribe to the “controlled pairs” or “hammers”. We shoot them to the ground. We rely on bursts. A burst is three to five rounds. Our school solution is a burst to the chest and a burst to the face. And of course, in proactive events, we shot for the face and head exclusively.

That is it in a nutshell. As well, our working of the pistol is vastly different. We are goal driven and focus on the state of the operator in the gunfight. Having been in some, my staff and I realize that analytical academic based weapon manipulations will fail. We also know the physical state one will likely be in. Not one of terror-filled defecation, but certainly one of excitement and adrenaline driven actions.

For example, the malfunctions we have seen discussed here. Rather than the analytical method taught at traditional schools, we understand that if your pistol malfunctions you have just been interrupted in killing the man who was trying to kill you. At such times, and often in low light, you neither have the luxury of examining the weapon, nor often the light to do so.

So we follow a flow-chart process bereft of any decision on the operator’s part other than “did it fix it and can I keep shooting”. So given a stoppage of any sort, the first reaction is an immediate and thoughtless tap rack. If that fixed it, keep killing. That maneuver will fix a failure to fire, as well as a failure to eject (known to traditional students as a stovepipe). It will not fix a feed way stoppage (not really a double feed), or an empty gun. If the initial maneuver fails to remedy the problem, the operator manually rips the on board magazine out and discards it. That will in fact instantly remedy the feed way stoppage in most modern handguns. (We have alternatives for those who must use Beretta M9 or 1911). The operator then loads a fresh magazine on board and manually cycles the slide, fixing either of the last outcomes…feed way stoppage or empty gun. We have students solving malfunctions dynamically and on the move in less than an hour.

Well, there you have it. There may be other things I haven’t thought of. We also favor appendix carry and training from concealment exclusively. We prize hand to hand combat ability and train with knives as well. We like red dot sights on our handguns, and put a premium on physical strength and conditioning.

But we firmly acknowledge our roots.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and outdoor
I’ll be the first to say that I am not the experienced professional Mr. Suarez is.  I have received funds for my teaching, but I teach mostly The Modern Technique of the Pistol, as distilled by Col. Cooper.  Of course, I do teach one-hand shooting and Isosceles, as these items might be needed.
Taken point-by-point:
Alertness. 
I try to keep in condition YELLOW.  Yes, I am NOT an operator or an assault-team
member.  Alertness may not keep me from being attacked, but it couldn’t hurt?  My personal motto is ‘Pay Attention’.  I contend much of my Life might have ended differently, had I paid attention or perhaps MORE attention.
Weaver Stance, Flash Sight Picture  and Compressed Surprise Break.
I am old, infirmed and generally set-in-my ways.  Weaver has worked for me for 43 years.  And now I am weaker and have less muscle mass.  (Perhaps, if I were 20 years younger, and in better condition?)  I will continue to operate in these manners, unless the situation warrants otherwise.  I’m old fashioned and old-school.  Remember my use of Bruce Lee’s teachings.  Repetition (as with kata) can bring vertical death.  Or, in the case of gunfighting, horizontal death.  Drill, but vary your drills.  Don’t just punch holes in paper, endlessly.
The semiautomatic pistol in a large caliber.
Despite the Pentagon’s recent findings regarding 9mm hollowpoints, I prefer to rely on Physics rather than magic bullets.
And, of course, I always intone the great Jim Cirillo:  “Stopping power BEGINS st 12 gauge!”  Why do I carry a .45?  Because they don’t make a .46!
Red dot sights
Col. Cooper said optics are for rifles.  Mr. Suarez is selling pistol slides with red dot sights.  Perhaps, for the well-trained spec ops guy(?)  But, as an almost-elderly citizen, they are not for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to train under Mr. Suarez, and again own 9mm pistols.
But. given my current circumstances, I don’t see that happening…

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!)

 

“The New Phone(book’s) Here!”

Remember?  From Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”?

Well this isn’t about that.  Or how I used to collect telephone books (when I was a PI).  (I’ve already written about that!)

How to be a PI (Lesson 4) pre-1986

Thankfully, my life isn’t ALL Sturm und Drang…

Today, is IS about the new CELLULAR TELEPHONES.  😛

S8 vs S7

My roomie has me on her cellular account, and loves new technology.  Fortunately (for us), the company with whom she contracts allows us to change or upgrade our phones up to three times a year!  At no additional cost!

Conspicuous consumerism and largess?

YES!

(Frankly, if I were living alone, I’d still have a flip phone, and be paying through-the-nose for service!)

The other day she decided she wanted to upgrade, and asked if I wanted to, as well.  (It had been well over a year…)

Duh.

To be fair, I was perfectly happy with my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (although, I rarely used the note part, many times I cannot read my own writing!)  But I’m certain it was clogged with unneeded and damaging apps, slowing performance, affecting memory and battery life.

At least that’s how I rationalized my decision!

So, off we went to the store…

About an hour and a half later, we left, each with a new Samsung Galaxy S8+ phone!  Of course, not unlike buying firearms, there was an additional charge for the ‘+’ part, as well as the new protective covers!  (J gets hers largely for style; mine so I won’t drop the slick S.O.B.!)  These new phones are never the same dimensions as the old – smart marketing on their part.

Thankfully, it wasn’t much.  We don’t have much.

How great is modern technology?  In a span of less than 20 minutes, the rep placed our old phones adjacent to the new, activated a procedure, and transferred all our telephone contacts, applications, photos, privacy settings etc. to the new phones!

Of course, there’s always tweaking.  Like changing the personalized ring and notification tones.  (J’s ringtone on my phone is the Looney Tunes theme.  Don’t tell her…  😛 )

Now if I can just learn all the new features before she wants another upgrade.

Sigh.

Truly, another First World problem!

(FTC – Samsung and the phone company give us nothing.  We pay (monthly) for everything!  Get your own phone!)

Poll Is Now Open: Begin Voting For The Fifth Annual Paul Revere Award

The number of small conservative blogs nominated since the inaugural award presentation in 2013 has tripled.  We here at Political Clown Parade are indebted to everyone who took the time to submit the names of blogs who are the modern-day offspring of the American Revolution’s pamphleteers—the brave and resolute men and women who feed our soul, who make us laugh about ourselves or life and restore our buoyancy in a troubled world.

The Paul Revere Award is dedicated to those bloggers who hold down jobs and raise their families while standing guard over liberty.  The icon for the award is American patriot Paul Revere who’s legendary “Midnight Ride” to warn the colonists of Massachusetts before the historic battles of Lexington and Concord played a vital role in America’s struggle to gain independence from Britain.

An obituary in the Boston Intelligence solemnly noted, “Seldom has the tomb closed upon a life so honorable and useful.”

Below you will find our poll.  You may cast your vote for multiple blogs but you will only be allowed to vote once.  We run a square house here.  Make sure you vote for all the blogs you consider your favorites.

Voting will close at 11:30 PM ET on Saturday, June 17.  The winners will be announced on Sunday, June 18.

The winners will be presented with a personalized award in the form of a badge which can be displayed on their website if they so choose.

Good luck to everyone!

I was brought to the attention of the vote for this award by my friend Jim (Nobody Asked Me – Old NFO)

I have cast my vote.  There are many worthy candidates.  You might stop by Political Clown Parade and cast yours!

 

“To SELL, Of Course!”

(from TFB, in part)

They say there’s a sucker born every minute.  No where does this seem to be more true than in the firearms industry.  Poorly thought of add-ons, holsters, ammunition design, etc.

I remember Col. Cooper being asked (with regard to the latest variant of some pistol, which certainly was not necessary), “Jeff, what’s it for?  To sell, of course!” was his reply.

I’m certain you can think of many others, as well as selections of the ‘good’ variety that didn’t get marketed properly and went away.

Such is the nature of business…

To .40, Or NOT To .40?

(from TFB, in part)

40 S&W Gel Test: Black Hills 140gr TAC-XP Solid Copper Hollow Point

Is this just silly?  Or is it a valid scientific ammunition test?I owned a .40 S&W once.  For a couple of weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, she was a Sig Sauer P226, black stainless, and shot consistently through the same hole at 15 yards!

I traded her to a good friend to pay off a debt.  Should have kept her, except, she would have been in the vault and now missing, regardless.  😦

For the newbie, the .40 was essentially a truncated 10 mm.  Apparently, the feds thought the 10 too potent for the average troop.

And some early tests said the .40 exceeded the .45 ACP in stopping power…

And while both calibers have their adherents, they no longer hold the popularity they once did.

Hell, the feds have gone back to 9 mm!

This is all an exercise in futility for me, anyway.  I cannot afford anything.

But, it’s nice the adherents keep trying for a magic bullet…

LAZINESS

Borepatch recently posted regarding his dearth of posts.

Hardly.  I told him I wait for friends and quality!

I, too, have been remiss in my blogging duties.  Either in performing more than the minimum, or in leaving comments for my blogging brethren and sistren.

Turns out, there are reasons.

First, both my roomie and I have had recent health ‘issues’ and concerns.  She, a number of surgeries; me, a rash-of-indeterminate origin, a bad fall and a blood clot scare.

Second, my focus has been on trying to help keep us afloat while she misses work (and income).

Third, the ongoing household chores and maintenance – they never stop!  Dogs and cats to tend, trash to be taken out, groceries…

Two days ago, a leak from the upstairs shower became apparent, as water began coming through the ceiling!!  Do we have homeowner’s insurance?  Of course.  Can we afford the deductible?  NO.

And we have neither diagnostic nor physical plumbing ability…

The good news, is J. was released from her restrictive sling yesterday (following rotator cuff surgery).  Only eleven more weeks of physical therapy for her to follow!  And four more doctor’s appointments later this month.

My rash is largely gone (although I still itch, somewhat) and my bloated calf seems to be getting smaller.  I return Thursday for another follow-up with my doc.

So, Life keeps us busy.  And my focus has been less-than-perfect on the blog.

But, we will continue and prevail.

Peace.  Out.

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…