Thursday, September 19, 2019

 
 
300,000,000 in the last 20 years.

Now, lot's of them will be used firearms changing hands. On the other hand, many of these checks will be multiple purchases. Do these balance out? To a degree I suppose.

Still.... 300,000,000 in the last twenty years, with over 6,000,000 firearms purchased in the last three months alone.

Um..... this may indicate something or other about the thinking of people in the USA. Not sure what, but I suspect it's significant.

One thing is, I've certainly been shirking. None of the recent checks can be assigned to me. I should get my ass in gear...
 
 

Firearms sales spike..... this is my surprised face.

 
 As news, it's a ho-hummer. Like announcing that water has been found to be wet.

On the other hand, it provoked a thought that's too good to check. I simply wish it to be true, and I'm happy that it almost certainly is. It's this:

I believe the anti-human rights crowd has once again pushed peoples buttons, and they in turn bought enough firearms in one month to completely surpass the number of firearms collected in every 'buyback' and confiscation scheme over the last twenty years.
 
Our newest Gun Salesman of the Year award winner.....
 
Bobby Francis something or other
 
 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Can you tell the difference?


Look closely at the picture above.  Now, can you tell what that is?
Here are your choices:
  1. It's an AR-15, the 'assault rifle' many presidential hopefuls wish to confiscate at gunpoint from American citizens.
  2. It's a modern sporting rifle, and the single most common rifle owned by US citizens today.
  3. It's the most common rifle used for competition in the US today.
  4. It's the most common rifle used for home defense in the US today.
  5. It's known as a 'Patrol Rifle' and used by nearly every police agency in the US today. 
  6. It's the most popular rifle ever owned by US citizens, with sales outpacing everything else combined for the last 20 years. 
  7. It's NOT a full auto M-4 used by the military as their primary weapon for soldiers worldwide.
  8. It's NOT the choice of criminals, to the point hammers are more frequently used in crimes than the rifle pictured above. 

Well?

Eco-hypocrit summit plans to create record carbon footprint while telling us peasants to cut our carbon footprint


There is a 'Climate Change Summit' taking place in Glasgow in 2020. It's expected to attract over 30,000 people from around the globe. Every airport parking space in Scotland for a private jet is already booked up in anticipation of a world record number of private jets gathered in one area.

I began researching and adding up the carbon emissions involved in moving 30,000 people around the world by both airline and private jet. The numbers are mind boggling, and I quit adding when it exceeded 100,000 tons of carbon.

That entire summit could be held carbon free by using tele-conferencing technology.

I'll believe it's an emergency when the clowns who tell me it's an emergency begin acting like they believe it's an emergency.

In which Harris beclowns herself.... again.





 A) They misspelled 'Confiscation'. Stupid Fox.

B) Not one rifle I own actually says 'AR-15' on it, so if they plan on stealing certain firearms from me they will have to define them by feature. The most used definition of 'assault rifle' (already a lie) would have about 100,000,000 units in citizen hands at this moment. At an average cost of $600 (low balling here) that means this twat would have to come up with 60 Billion smackers to fulfill her socialist dream. 

3) The last head count had about 210,000,000 adults in the US. The FBI says 40% of them are *known* to own firearms, so 84,000,000 individual firearm owners in the USA, roughly.
If only 1/10th of 1% of them 'object' to having their property stolen, it would exceed the death toll of the entire US involvement in the Vietnam war.


If 1% of gun owners said no, their numbers would exceed the total of every single sworn police officer in the USA.

And finally, D) Every single police officer I personally know is a firearm owner, an 'assault' rifle owner, and uses 'Patrol Rifles' on the job. 'Patrol Rifle' is what newsies call the rifles they want to steal from us, when they are in police hands.

To the point, I don't believe a single police officer *I personally* know would take part in any confiscation scheme. Both because they would not believe them right and won't murder people to make them happen, but also because they know their odds of survival would be less than optimal.

So, hows about 'splaining YOUR plan to us, Kamala Dear?

Friday, September 13, 2019

None shall speak it's name.....


Oh, you want universal background checks?  You mean... like.... when anyone buys a gun, the seller is required by law to do a government background check before selling the item?

Dude.... you know that's CURRENT law, don't you?  All dealers in the US do a background check one way or another on every sale.

Oh... you want PRIVATE sellers required to do that as well? Maybe have all transfers go through dealers, by law?  Ok, I see what you are getting at.

So..... how are you going to enforce that?  How are going to check?

What do I mean?   Well, suppose an officer wants to know if the rifle some woman is carrying during hunting season was legally transferred to her with a background check.  She says she did that.  How's the officer going to check?

Oh.... he'll just check and see if the transfer was listed as authorized.  Where will he check that... some sort of national firearms registry listing every sale of every firearm and who it was to?   Like a nationwide gun registration?

Oh OH..... NOT a gun registration then..... Just a complete nationwide list of who owns what and if they got permission. 

Yeah..... not like a massive totalitarian gun registration scheme at all.   Just a list, ya know?  Like..... who has what.... like that... but not a registration thing at all.

Yeah, and what they did in New Jersey and New York and California and Massachusetts..... yeah..... that will NEVER happen  other places when they get a list too.  Not like it did when those states had registration and tracked down honest Americans after the laws were arbitrarily changed.

Yeah.... That will never happen.

Again. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

One party hates me. The other party just dislikes me.



I'ma doing me some Googlin this morning, to gauge how much the two-party system despises me lately.

It began with this search term:  "(Party Name) policy for-profit schools"  to see which party would like me to be broke and homeless.  You see, I teach at a for-profit school.  No matter our success rate, and our 90% employment rate at graduation, and our students being able to repay their loans 5X faster than traditional universities (Because they can get actual real jobs that pay real money).

Yeah, so one party backs my industry, and the other reviles it to the point of destruction. 

Well, that there alone points out a path I should regard.

Just keep right on searching, and change the terms to things you care about.  See what lovely things those folks have in store for us.

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

 
So...... Herself's little girl (not so little... 11yo and taller than mom) is home with me and brother while mom is off partying at the shore all week. Harumph.

Well, not wanting to see the youngen unhappy, I've been getting up early every morning making her a good breakfast to start her school day.

Yesterday it was homefries with onions, and a three cheese omelette with salsa on top. Today it was homemade crepes wrapped around scrambled eggs, cheese, and salsa.

I don't want her to miss her mom.... or as the little girl says... "Mom Who?"
 
 

Smalls investing....

Unsettled times breed unsettled people.  Unsettled people want insurance.  Nobody pays more for insurance than the man who waits till after the accident to shop for it.

I figure we have about four years til folks get antsy, with a lighter bet on two and no-bet on six.

I'm old enough to recall the way people got 'antsy' back in '08, and the money I made then by betting against the average intelligence of the crowd.  Then, I was selling into the demand, and I expect to be doing that again. 

So, when I run across a deal like this, and I have the scratch, I have to jump.  Average price per is about $9.12 (in my hands).  That is exactly at my expected current price for the aluminum, and a few bucks under my 'buy now' price on the Magpul.  Compared to what they were going for in 2008..... well now.

Now, I know the market became saturated since then, but I am banking on people being people.  At some point in the next few years, there's going to be yet another move towards the stupid.  Someone brain donor is going to push for a pointless feel-good law that does squat as intended. 

$200 at BJ's house-o-consumerism will result in trash cans packed with packaging and a $200 hole in my bank account.

$200 cash in my safe (or the bank) results in $160 in cash value next year.... the stupid-people tax which is inflation.

$200 in magazines means a MINIMUM of $200 in magazines next year.  In four years, a MINIMUM of $250 in magazines.  If the mob leans the way I expect, it will be more like $1000 in magazines in four years. And hey.... I can always use them myself.

Now, when that sweet, sweet OT hit's the account, it will probably be precious metals going in the safe, in terms of value-added aluminum alloy.

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

I'll believe in it when the people telling me about it start acting like they believe in it...


Over at Silicone Graybeard, some frank comments on This Article at Watts Up With That:

 

"When plots of future temperatures are presented, you usually get what's on the left.  A model showing smoothly increasing measured temperatures.  If the uncertainties are included, errors propagated forward in time, and other standard techniques employed, you get the rescaled plot on the right.  The prediction for the temperature at 2100 isn't that global temperature goes up 4 degrees; it's 4 degrees +22 and -15.  When the uncertainty is 10 times your prediction, your prediction isn't worth much. "


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Burger King fakes another burger?

Burger King introduces a 'burger' made with no burger.... all plants. People seem excited, but I can't understand why. I'm pretty sure they have been making fake burgers for many years now.

Goofy O'Rourke has a plan....ish.

I was reading a few articles about this Irish guy who runs for office in Texas under a Mexican name.  I had some concern as he strongly backs confiscating peoples property at gun point.

Then I realized he hasn't offered a whisper of detail on his plan. Looking at his history, I see he was in bed with his buddies in the House, and even with that backing not a single bill he's ever sponsored has made it out of committee. Not one.

No wonder he's looking for a new job. He's at utter failure at the last one he held.
 
On the other hand, he's bounced back well from the burglary charges and the DUI conviction, so he's got that going for him.


Old NFO speaks....


Go read at his site.  He said it better than I can


Wherein Zeke is a tyrant....


A simple Sunday morning breakfast for an old teacher recovering from a week of 14 hour days and hotel nights.

Slow fried potatoes with various cheeses melted on, three sloppy sunny eggs, and a few slices of whole wheat.  Notice though... the toast.  See the slice with a corner missing.  Glance with curiosity at the maimed egg-sopping bread.

It's missing a corner.  An extra heavily buttered corner, as my toast is ALWAYS missing a corner.  Why? One might well ask.

Because Zeke the elderly toddler jerk face parrot will scream her bloody head off if she doesn't get a heavily buttered corner from any toast I ever have in this home.


 Spoiled much?
 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Perspective is important...


So.... there I wuz.....

Once upon a former lifetime, I was speaking with a shop owner who was looking over my job application.  "I called the former employers you listed here.  XXXXX  said you are the worst mechanic he's ever seen.  Anything to say to that?"

Meself:  "I disagree with him, but he's not here to make his case so there's not much else I can say in response".

Shop owner: "Happens I know the man pretty well.  If he says you are the worst mechanic he's ever had, then I'll hire you.  Can you start this week?"

Perspective is.. well... critical.  I learned something that day.  It's simply this:  Don't sweat it when assholes speak badly about you.  They are what they are, and good people will know them for what they are.

I remembered that when a customer I had just fired was yelling at me across the counter one day. "I'll tell everyone I know you are a thief!"

My response?  "Go ahead.  I'd appreciate it if you did"

Fired customer:  "WTF??"

Me:  "Look, if it's anyone who cares what you say, they are probably worthless lying sacks of crap just like you, and I'd rather not have them here.  If it's someone who knows what you really are, then your slander will be a welcome reference for me and I'd love to talk with them".

Him:  ((HEAD EXPLODES as he's screaming profanity)) while I dialed the local police.

Moral of these stories?  The person speaking about you says volumes more than what they are saying about you.


Thieving scammers come in all different sizes..

This cheeses me, because I got nailed by the same scam. No, I'm not investigating if this meme is 100% accurate. I can't work up a care if it is or isn't, since my butthole still twinges over this college scam.

My rapage was committed by PSU, in a mandatory 'education' course we instructors had to take or lose our careers (Nice rape scam you got going there, PSU. How many lawmakers you have to buy to get that law passed?)

The course was taught by a Penn State professor. Professor of what, I never figured out. The class had about 25 tech instructors in it, and we were all required to buy the 'textbook' for the class, at $65 each. The 'textbook' was about the size of a paperback, was written by the 'professor', and was never once even referenced in the course.

He arrived on the first night of class with a box of his books, and quite literally pocketed everyone's cash.

After a full semester of this ^%^%#@ing class, not one experienced teacher who'd been forced to take the course could even figure out what the course had been about. It was a load of shear rambling BS shoveled together solely to fill PSU's coffers and give this bozo a way to rake in some cash.

PSU, and the sumbitch 'professor', didn't care a bit that it was all BS and we all knew it. They had a law saying we were required to bend over, and had no way out of it. They engineered the law to do exactly that.

Does my experience make this meme believable? OH. Hell. YES.

China and Hong Kong.....





This situation reminds me of the TSA in action. You see, they can't back down when they are wrong. TSA officers can never back down, no matter how wrong they are, because backing down means giving up authority, and authority is all they have in this world. Their mission is bullshit, and their mandate is as hazy as Muellers memory of his investigation.


China is like that, except they also have generations of brainwashing at this point. That's why they must limit free speech, and act harshly in the face of criticism. It's quite honestly the only power they have.

China is a handyman who owns nothing but one hammer, and Hong Kong is an annoying protruding nail. They either hammer that nail, or give up being a handyman. The Chinese leadership would see the world in flames, and bodies stacked like mountains, before they give up power. It's all they have.

In which Lancaster Newspapers responds....


In regards to a letter to the editor I sent chastising Gov. Wolf for proposing new limitations on gun ownership while ignoring the enforcement of current gun laws.... LNP has responded.

Paula Wolf, an editorial writer, sent this:  "Arthur, Pa. is actually quite active in seeking convictions. See further down in this USA Today story."

First, I must say I am deeply surprised, and just as deeply appreciative, that LNP responded at all.  It's honestly the last thing I expected.  Providing a linked source was downright neighborly as well.  Nicely done, Paula and LNP!

My response:  


Paula,

Thank you for the interesting data, and source.  It's much appreciated.  I gather what the article is saying is that PA is doing the best of a particularly bad showing  on the part of various law enforcement agencies.

Given their 1% number of failed background checks, and the PSP reported number of almost 800,000 firearms sold in PA in 2017.   Only 1900 referrals for prosecution out of 8000 criminal instances, and only 470 convictions, given each fail means a signed confession?

I would surmise that PA, even if it's one of the best at dealing with the issue, is still horrifically bad at using existing laws to keep firearms away from criminals.

Or.... the background check mechanism is deeply flawed, and these are not truly criminal instances.

Or.... and I would guess this the most likely.... the state simply does not have the resources to enforce the current laws regarding firearms.

In all these cases, would any of the proposed new laws make the slightest change at all?

Regards, and thanks again,

Art Welling

In reading through the full report instead of the summary, I see the actual decline number was over 15,000, with about 10% being reversed on challenge as faulty returns.   Aprox. 2500 were referred for prosecution, of which most cases were either declined by prosecutors or not successfully prosecuted. 

These are not good numbers, from my viewpoint, and point to deeply flawed background check system.

On the other hand, in terms of things handled by government agencies, it's probably a stellar performance.

 


Sometimes, doing nothing is everything.



An easy breakfast for little money, and little effort.

The potatoes are sliced about 10mm thick, and fried till crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  There is a dollop of salsa-queso for dipping the home fries.

The eggs, a simple three egg folded omelette with a bit of Parmesan in the mix, and spooned on chunky salsa to add flavor and heat.

It's all so simple, with patience.  Heat a big, heavy, non-stick fry pan on medium heat, and melt a few tablespoons of butter as it warms.  Slice a couple washed Russet potatoes to desired thickness, tossing the very ends if you like.   It's important to have flat surfaces that will contact the pan.

Lay the sliced potatoes out in the pan in a single layer, and grind on as much fresh black pepper as you fancy.  Also a sprinkle of Kosher salt.


Now, employ the culinary technique I call "Leave It The Hell Alone". 

Seriously... go drink coffee.  Wash dishes.  Give the cat a bath.  Whatever floats your boat... but leave that pan the hell alone for at least 20 minutes.  Set the Leave-It-Alone timer for 20 minutes.

When you come back 20 minutes later for your next cup of coffee, turn the potato slices in the pan, and grind some more pepper on so you don't have one-sided tasting food.  Reset the Leave-It-Alone timer for another 15 minutes.

When that dinger dings again, then and only then may you examine your handiwork.  Turn the slices again if you wish, and let them finish browning while you crack open the eggs into a bowl.

To the three eggs, a splash of heavy cream and a few grinds of pepper.  Blend with a fork till uniform and floofed.

Move the potato slices to a plate covered by a paper towel to soak away some of that butter, and pour the egg mix into the pan.  Set on medium low, add a pinch of salt, and swirl the pan once to make sure the egg mixture coats the whole bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle on some Parmesan, or a little of whatever cheese gives you the giggles.  Next..... that technique again.  Leave It The Hell Alone.

Just leave it, till the eggs are nearly set.  When there is just a bit of unset egg mix left, lift the edges with a rubber spatula thingy and fold one side towards the middle.  Then the other side to the middle.  Leave it there a moment as you ready a plate.

Slide the omelette from the pan, turning it over on the plate as you do so.  Give the pan a rinse while the eggs rest a second.  They will finish cooking from their own heat in just a few moments.

Add all the potatoes you wish, whatever toppings you wish, and refill that coffee mug.

Enjoy!



 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Mirrors....

Mirrors don't lie, do they?  They merely reflect, and any lies come from within the person looking into the mirror.

I'm coming to grips with what my mirror shows me every day, and that's the undeniable fact of getting older....of getting old, period. 

There are parts of me, the majority of me in fact, which bear the scars of a lifetime of hard work.  There are parts that just don't work as well, or even barely at all.

There are things which my mind can still conceive yet my body can no longer fulfill, and that is a harsh fact to realize.  Sometimes memories, dreams, and regrets become a form of soul crushing gruel that a man doesn't wish to live on.  That leaves him wanting more, and having to learn what new horizons open, and what new limitations mean.

Getting old is not for the weak. 

 

When that guy is digging his pit, don't take away his shovel.

If an update comes before the post is posted, is it a predate?

I wrote what follows a while back, and then thought second thoughts about posting it.  It unsettles my soul to be mean, and I'm thankful for that.

The results didn't sit right, because not handling it better means I failed, and I dislike failing.  I went back to the situation, examined the subject at hand, and found a way to deal with him in a way that encouraged positive outcomes.

You see, he's not a bad guy.  He's just different, as we all are.  Every single one of us has our ways, and other people may not, usually won't, understand them right away.

Part of being professional is finding the way to a positive outcome when working with difficult people.

I found that path with this man, so far.  

********************************* 

Sometimes, you just have to allow people to have their way, without arguing with them.  What is it Napoleon is reported as saying?  Something like "Never interrupt an enemy when they are making a mistake".... or something close to that.

Enemies?  Yeah... not so much.  I don't really have any that I know of.  

People who I have no fondness of?  Yeah... *those* I have my share of. 

Yesterday one of the latter types made an unforced technical error on a curriculum issue.... and I just shut up and went along with it.  Since he is assigned as a 'lead', I followed his 'lead' on the issue, except I documented my actions and a manager signed off on it.

Now, I would have been happy to help the sad sack understand what he misunderstood about the technical issue, and show him exactly where in the material it explains why he's wrong.... but history with him has proven it's wasted breath.  Even gently pointing out an obvious error, understandable since he's never been a tech, has resulted in attitude and blow back.

Hell... I've had students come to me, book in hand, and ask what the hell he's talking about as they point to material refuting his notions.

So be it sparky.  Now you can explain to the company why you violated policy over lack of subject matter expertise.
 
There are ways to 'lead' which don't involve alienating those who can help you do the job.

 

Coffee

 
 The coffee I made this morning seems stronger, a little more bitter than usual. I like it.

I'm trying to recall when coffee became a thing for me. It's possible, just possible, that I was born liking it...

I have early memories of my mother giving me coffee and milk to drink at the table. There were few days where there wasn't iced coffee in the fridge; My dad never wasted a drop from that percolator.

I recall Saturdays, grocery shopping with mom, and the rich smell as she ground her bag of A&P beans in the coffee aisle. I loved that smell so much, she always let me take a deep breath of it before she closed the bag.

These days, I grind a cinnamon stick up, and then pour in a handful of dark roasted coffee beans. Grind till fine, almost like an espresso.

The drip coffee maker is filled with bottled spring water, a natural paper filter, and the coffee ground mere seconds before.

Like this morning, I usually pull that first mug before the pot is even half done. The very first is stronger, richer, deeper.

I spoil myself in this.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

In other news... (ME stuff)


I was roped into my semi-annual review yesterday at work.  Seems I mostly fulfill expectations, and hardly ever screw the pooch.  Go team me.

Of note... my Completion Rate average for the year so far is 95%, which is 6 points over the company average for the same courses in the same time period.  The word 'Phenomenal may have been bandied about.

No, I am not getting a raise, or even a donut.  What I *am* getting is some fun time pulling doubles over the next few phases.

Wheee.... 14 hour days and sleeping at the hotel.

Ugh.




Stories of the non-social....


When one has little social capital, one must spend it wisely. One must husband it, even if nurturing is not in the game plan. Thus, some habits have developed over the years.

There's not many relationships I'll work for. A few family, a few loved ones, a few friends, that's it. Experience has taught me not to waste effort beyond those, and my students.

I don't seek out interactions with people, and I don't fight my nature by forcing myself to. I'm just as happy, and often happier, alone or with just one other person.

I limit my FaceBook 'friends' to an arbitrary number. If someone unfriends me, or I have cause to unfriend them, I usually just block them and be done with it. No peeksies, either direction.

Phone calls..... I pretty much never answer. I'm not good with unsolicited demands on my time. I've little enough of it left to me. If someone calls from a strange number and doesn't leave a message.... blocked.

There's many weeks, and sometimes single days, where I use up every bit of my social patience in school, and there's nothing left at all. Then the weekend becomes ever more precious as alone and recovery time.

Different people have different ways. These are some of mine.
 
 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Judging


I judge people on how they treat me, others, and themselves.

Few things are as important.  Not blood.  Not family.




Monday, August 26, 2019

Blind sided....


Long ago, in a former lifetime, my brother asked me to loan him money.  Money with zeros behind it.  With assurances from our mother, I did so.

All was well for a while, then I didn't hear from him for quite a spell.  Then.... a letter from his attorney.  He'd declared his debt to me in a bankruptcy.

A few years ago, he reached out to me from whatever country he fled to, asking if I was 'big enough to get past it'.  My response was two words.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  Yup, another letter from an attorney.  This one representing an upstate township that is preparing to sue me for a $2000 delinquent water and sewer bill on a property I haven't laid eyes on in a dozen years.  Totally blindsided me.  Yes, family lived there, till they bailed out without notice.

This drives home two things I know, but I guess the universe thought I needed reminding of.

1)  No good deed goes unpunished.

2) Nobody on this earth will screw you quite so thoroughly as family will. 

What if they're wrong?



Long ago, in a former lifetime, there was a morning where I could have been found in South Carolina, in a big 4x4 Suburban, alongside a massive bean field.

There would have been found another man, a friend, in the passenger seat.  This man would be seen trying to convince me to drive through the mud and out behind a wood copse to pick up his tower stand from the field.  "Come on!  This is a big tough 4x4, ain't it?"

"Friend", I said, "lemme ask ya sumpin. You think this big 'ol truck can make it through that mud to rescue your tower stand, mostly because you don't want to carry the thing out of the field.  Well.... what if you are wrong?  What if this thing CAN'T get through that mud, and gets stuck?  We are miles from anything and anyone.  What is your plan for if you are wrong?" 

We carried that blasted stand about half a mile through ankle deep mud.

This brings me to modern days, and all the uppity talk of 'gun control this' and 'ban that' and 'Ermagerd Gotta Do Sumpin!'.

In the name of reducing SOME shootings, a minority of very annoying and noisy people (A&NP) wish to disarm SOME people in various ways.

Now, we know it's some shootings, and not all, because Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, and Newark are holding mass shootings every weekend, only taking breaks during heavy snowfalls.  If the A&NP really cared about bodies stacking up, they'd be yipping and yapping at those cities.... but they are not.  They, for some reason, are yipping and yapping at people like me who have zero connection to violent crime.

Their twisted idea is that if *I*, and some millions of other people like me, who own firearms and have no criminal intent at all.... if they can just remove our firearms from our hands, then all will be well.  Or at least, better,  Or something, and maybe like, stuff, ya know?

Notice the SOME people who are targeted by this weird notion are NOT the people involved in shootings, or crime, or anything untoward.  Truly perplexing, huh?  It's like the plan to confiscate my Charger because someone carjacked a truck in San Diega and ran over a poodle.   Or Sumpin.   Oh... there's no plan to do that?  'Splain the difference to me, hmm?

Anywho, all this reminds me of that talk with Tom in my Suburban all those years ago.  He had, in fact, no plan at all for being wrong.  Being a sensible person he then agreed to my helping him carry his tree stand rather than risk our being stranded miles and miles from help.

This makes me wonder.  If the A&NP folks get what they want, which is me having an empty gun safe..... what is their plan for being wrong?  What if violent crime does not change?  What if the bad people they specifically did not target continue to shoot good people like us, and even more so now that we are guaranteed victims?  What is their plan to undo their failed plan?

Wait....  There is none?  If they are wrong, we are all just screwed? I don't get my property back?  What's that you say; Maybe that is the primary reason for all the yipping and yapping to start with?  It was never about violent crime at all?

Huh.... well then.....


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Boots!



I like living in this part of history, mostly.

Years ago, I used to buy Red Wing work boots.  I'm a .... um.... 'Stout' man and I generally work on concrete floors.  I also tend to kick things.  Lifts, large components, wheels, asses... things.  I need decent boots that support my feet and ankles.  So.... Red Wing, with excellent quality but ERMAgerd pricing.

One thing I enjoyed about Red Wing work shoes was Being On File.  That meant I could call up, give them my name, and tell them I'd be in the following day for new boots.  I'd show up, the boots were behind the register, wham, bam, chaCHING... I'm out the door in five minutes.

Yeah.... well...... that store sold out, and while the new owner bought my 'file', he made it clear he would not be keeping my size in stock. Period. But, he could order it... cash down... and they'd be there in a week or two.

I went with NO, and an extra helping of F.No.

Fast forward, and after years and years have gone by, I've learned the value of non-traditional work boots, otherwise known as 'combat' boots.  Side zipper, easy on/off, great support, highly comfortable, and a vast array to choose from.

About 5 years ago, I settled on one brand, style, and size.  Supplier?  Amazon.  Price?  Stupid good.  Now, I blow through these things in about 10 months.  Usually, I wear the uppers through kicking things.  The old Red Wings were good for a year, but they cost THREE TIMES what I pay for these boots now.

This morning, I put my boots on, and a few minutes later noticed a certain.... Breeziness... to my right foot.  Looking down, I saw the side zipper had blown out.  Impact damage, it seemed.  Damn.  Only, lets see, oh.... 10 months since my last pair.

Here's the fun part:  I kicked off the boots and grabbed my sneakers.  In the time it took me to put on my sneakers with one hand, my other hand had ordered a new pair of boots on Amazon from my standing list.  Total elapsed time, maybe 120 seconds.

My new boots will be here Tuesday ... :-)


They grow up, sometimes...


A few phases back, I had a student....

During class discussion, he did that hand thing where someone makes a thumb-finger circle and it's supposed to be funny when someone looks down at it  (yeah, I got nothing here).

I looked at his hand, and looked at his smiling face.... and just looked at him til the smile faded.   I innocently asked him  "Is that supposed to mean something?  I'm lost... can you explain it to me?".

I called him out on it.   Left him no place to go with it.  Then, I said  "Seems pretty childish to me.  Is that where you are at right now?  Paying 40 grand for a technical education, so you can play kindergarten games in class?"

On the last day of class, after finals, I had a few words for him.  "You are smart.  You get this stuff so easily you don't have to study, and you can turn around and put it down hands-on.  So easily, you can blow through it without trying.  Imagine.... just imagine... what you could do if you actually tried to accomplish something.  I can see you not just working as a tech, but owning a string of business's that are successful.  You are THAT smart... if you want to be."

 Last week I encountered him in the hall, and we talked a bit.  In the conversation, I asked him "Are you taking this seriously now?"

He looked me right in the eye, and said "Yes, I am".

You know what?  I believe he is.   That young man will be one to watch.

Snerk. The memes that cause my chuckles...


Saturday, August 24, 2019

Soups on!


Have you ever tried to take an interesting picture of soup?

So, herself has had tummy surgery done a few weeks ago.  She is just now getting back  to food, and only chunkless soup at that.

Now, knowing this was coming I stocked up on protein shakes, canned soups, bone stock, Popsicles, yogurt, jello, etc. 

That said, she wanted something 'better'.  She wanted my cooking.   That meant scratch soup.  In this case, cream of mushroom.

Challenge accepted!   Recipe.... not so much.

I began by hydrating dried onion in chicken stock for a few hours.  Into a deep fry pan with lid, a big double handful of mushrooms of various breeds, a few tablespoons of butter, and the onions... now equaling about 1/4 cup.  A few grinds of black pepper and a healthy pinch of salt.   On goes the lid, and heat set to medium for about 40 minutes.

In a sauce pot, a half stick of butter and a big sploosh of AP flour. Heat on medium high while whisking till it's rue.  Then, some pepper, salt, fresh nutmeg, and a 'box' of low sodium chicken stock.

Heat and stir till it gets thick, then a scant handful of shredded cheese; Parmesan and Asiago.  Keep stirring till the cheese is melted and the soup base is smooth.  Set off the heat and stir till it stops cooking.

After the mushrooms are cooked down, everything in the fry pan joins everything in the pot.  From there, to a blender  (Ninja, in my case.  Fine machine!).   Pulse a few times, and then set to high for about two minutes.  Half way through, add a half pint of heavy cream.

When blended, pour back into the pot and set on very low heat til ready to serve.

Hands down, the best cream of mushroom soup we have EVER had.  Serious mushroom flavor, smooth, clean, and wonderful umami.  

Yeah.... doing this again, and more on top of that.

 

Impaired drivers....


Mention 'Impaired Drivers' and folks think of alcohol.  Rarely, someone might consider some other intoxicating drug of choice.  Almost never will people think of drivers who are just naturally impaired by their condition, or by their personality.

Impairment comes in many, many forms.  Old age brings it's issues, but so does being young and inexperienced.  Cell phone addiction? Certainly.  What about someone who cares so little about others, they drive their vehicle as if they are in sole ownership of the roads?  Yes.... and we see such people every day.

Impairment manifests is many, many ways.  Some are not the traditional ones we automatically link to a 'drunk driver', yet they reveal an impaired driver none the less.
  • Weaving within... or outside... the lane?  Yup, a classic.
  • Slowing down or speeding up without any visible reason? Of course, when done repeatedly.
  • Misjudging distance, and crowding other vehicles... another classic.
 Now, how about the non-classic symptoms.... shall we discuss those? 

What about that driver who goes 25mph in a 35mph zone, regardless of how many people stack up behind them... only to reach a 25 mph zone and immediately accelerate to 35mph... no matter how many people they have to tailgate to do it.
Impairment:  Asshole.

A favorite impaired driver:  The person who runs consistently 15 mph under the speed limit, until reaching a section of road where they can be passed.  There, they step on the gas til they are once again in a section where they can force drivers to line up behind them at 15 under the limit.
Impairment:  Asshole.

A style of impairment I see almost daily;  That guy coming on the highway at 20mph under prevailing traffic, who proceeds to dive sideways across all the lanes to establish himself in the passing lane... at 20 mph under prevailing traffic speed.  That truck which almost jackknifed to avoid him.... went un-noticed.
Impairment:  Raging asshole.

How about that driver who makes a right turn... from the far left lane, sans turn signal.   Just a SWoooshh...... and they are sideways across the road, with everyone else slamming on their brakes.
Impairment:  You guessed it.... another raging asshole.

That motorcycle rider who feels content to do sweet twisty roads at 30 over, leaving themselves unable to hold their lane around corners.  What a thrill they have seeing opposing cars drivers hit the bank while trying to avoid killing them.
Impairment:  Surprise.... AssHole.

That construction truck hauling an equipment trailer which boasts an unused broom in a rack, and 400 pounds of dirt and rocks blowing off into traffic, shattering windshields and causing drivers to swerve into other lanes.
Impairment:  Oh Yeah.... big time asshole.

All of these, and more, do I see every single week on my daily drive to work and back home.

Why does road rage exist?   I theorize it's because drivers are constantly assaulted by impaired drivers.... asshole impaired drivers... and nothing can be done about it.  The police can't possibly deal with the overwhelming number of loose assholes on our roads, and sometimes folks have their lives risked just one too many times.  They snap.

The answer?  Hell, I don't know.  I just try to make it home each day, praying I reach the house where a soothing glass of self-impairment awaits me.

Oh, that picture of the car which leads off this rant?  The driver committed at least four distinct actions on this list, in the space of ten minutes.   

Whatcha gonna do?

 

Beachfront property....


Our recently ex-ed president and his whifty poo are buying a massive beachfront mansion, to the tune of 15 biguns.  Not 15 thou, but 15 mil.

The keyword in there is 'Beachfront'.  Not 'Massive Mansion' or '$15,000,000', but 'Beachfront'.

I'll think about believing it's a crisis when the people who keep telling me it's a crisis start *behaving* as if they believe it's a crisis. 
  
But then again.... maybe they are required to so they can be in the cool-kid club, and be all Algore'ed?

Or they could have gone the Bernie route, I guess, and enjoyed a lakefront mini-mansion for only $600K, but hey! He was da Prez! Not some washed up old socialist....Um....Er..... wait..... 

Tom Wright-Piersanti, NYT Editor, and diligent racist

The NY times in a nutshell: Tom Wright-Piersanti, Editor, and diligent NY Times racist. Still on the job, while making no secret of his racism and bigotry. The other editors and his bosses simply could not have NOT known what he is.... he took every opportunity to announce it. No, they either agreed with him, or just let it go without saying a word.

Yeah... now that his true nature is hitting the fan, he tried to lock down his racist rants from public view.  Silly little bigot.... the interwebs is forever.