Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


Hello!!!!!! That's NOT 'Accidental'...

Because I'm perfect, and I have never had a gun discharge when I didn't want it to, it would be easy for me to get all high and mighty about accidental discharges.   But, since, as Jay points out, it can happen to even the best of us, I'm not so much here to attack the fact that ANYONE can make a mistake, but more the terminology involved when that mistake happens.

Case in point, this story made it in the Kitsap Sun today:

Chico man accidently shoots friend in leg

—A 23-year-old man was accidentally shot in the leg by a friend at a Fairway Lane apartment complex Friday night, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies were called to the apartment on the 3800 block of Fairway just before 10:30 p.m. They found a 23-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the thigh. Another 23-year-old said he had recently repaired his pistol and was putting it away when he accidentally "bumped" the trigger and it went off, hitting his friend.

Deputies found both men had been drinking. Both confirmed the shooting was accidental, deputies said in reports.

As part of their investigation, deputies collected evidence, including the firearm and bullet, which had lodged in a wall.

The injured 23-year-old was taken to Harrison Medical Center for treatment.

This is a perfect example of using the word 'accidental' when the word they are really looking for is NEGLIGENT.  Heck...drinking and 'accidentally bumping' the trigger is more in the realm of 'asking for it' than 'accidental' .


A sucker born every minute...

Last week, I was floating around Midway's site, and I found that they had some of the Hornady Superperformance .35 Whelen on sale...$27 a box, which is a pretty good price, so I picked up 5 boxes, which should get me through next hunting season.

Since I was buying that, I ordered a couple of boxes of Fiocchi .380 Hollow Points, and 1000 rounds of Aquila .22's.  Then, I did something silly. 

I saw that Midway had the Hornady Z-Max ammo, and unable to resist, I ordered a box of it for my wife's Firestorm .380(and most certainly NOT for my Kel-Tec).  I mean, the box was only $1 more than the normal Hornady Critical Defence ammo.  For one box, I'll pay the buck to see if my wife smiles.  It's not something I am going to stock up on though...

I also ordered a SOG Revolver, to bring the order up to an even number.  The Revolver seems neat...it's a knife/gut hook, and a bone saw on the same handle.  Last hunting season, I found myself in the hills without a bone saw.  'Luckily', I didn't end up needing one, but I am NOT going to let that happen again.

It's not as macho as some of the bone saws that I have seen out there, but, do I really need an 18 inch saw(especially if I am not harvesting anything?)  All I really need is something that can cut the legs off at the knees, cut through the neck, and maybe help split the pelvis.

Hopefully, in September of this year, there will be a review of the SOG Revolver.  


Simple tastes...

Well, it seems there is a meme(and I actually went to Wikipedia to see what that word means...my dad once stressed to me that I should always make sure I understand a word before I used it...on of his few lessons that stuck.) going around with people talking about the 5 guns they would get if money were not an issue.

Well, no one asked me, but I'll play the game on someone else's dime...saves me having to come up with an original idea.  I'm sure my list is going to appear very, very, VERY basic and uninspired compared to a true firearms aficionados like Tam, Borepatch, and Robb(who I think started this whole thing).

1. 4.25mm Liliput.  I'm a fairly huge Alistair MacLean(Guns of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra) fan, and the Liliput Automatic figures in a number of his stories.  Because he was an author, and firearms accuracy has not always been a requirement in authors not named Larry Correia, Mr. MacLean referred to this gun as the .21 Liliput, when in reality it's about a .17 caliber.  Mr. MacLean frequently called this the smallest really effective gun a person could carry.  Cartridges of the World says it had a 12-15gr bullet at 800 fps for roughly 17 ft-lbs of muzzle energy.  CCI Mini-Mag's generate 135 ft-lbs at the muzzle.

Thank gosh I live in an age of micro 380's...

2. Colt Python.  Stainless...probably a 6-inch barrel.  I've never gotten a chance to shoot one, so I can only dream about how smooth the legendary trigger is supposed to feel.  Even if the trigger is not the best, well, I think they are the prettiest revolves out there.

3. .22 Caliber Gatling Gun.  I know that you can buy a kit for under $400 to make a two-barrel 10-22 based gatling gun online.  A lot of the reviews I have read say that feeding in an issue.  I would rather have one of the 6-barrel classic looking ones, but ONLY if it feeds good. 

4.  Marlin 1895 Guide Gun.  I want a big Boomer.  I guess I could I could pick something like a .577 Nitro Express Double gun, but like I said, I'm a simple man.  Given how much I enjoy my .357 Lever-Action, I think my Big Bore jones could scatched with this pretty guide gun.  Maybe throw some Magna-porting on the end, but I see no reason not to go with .45-70.

5. Long Slide 1911.  I just think they look neat.  Do I need any more justification than that?  Something like this STI Target Master would do...but Stainless please...


Despite my displeasure with Tyson's Bacon yesterday, I rolled forward with making Brigid's Bacon Maple Whiskey Scones

One of the guys I work with got a job at the Point Beach Nuke Plant in Wisconsin, which is within half an hour of where he and his wife grew up.  I don't blame him for jumping on the opportunity, but I will make him question it...and these scones are the first step of that.

They were pretty popular, and I got two marriage offers.  Luckily, they are talking about making same sex marriage legal her in Washington...I'm not settling for a 'Civil Union'. 

The only thing I changed from Brigid's recipe was the alcohol.  I didn't have any open whiskey, so I grabbed the bottle of Sailor Jerry's spiced rum instead.  There is so little of it in the recipe that I don't think it made a difference.

I think that is the secret of this recipe...subtlety.  Yeah, it's got bacon, but nothing is overpowering.  You have the bacon, and a hint of the maple syrup...

These will get made again...


And what am I supposed to do with THAT!!?!!?!??!

My wife, in a usually very successful attempt to be a frugal housewife, has become quiet the sales follower and coupon user. 

A few weeks ago, one of the stores had bacon on a buy one get one free special, and with the coupon my wife had, she was going to be able to get some bacon for like $2.50 a pound, which isn't bad.  It wasn't a brand we usually get, so she didn't go hog(heh heh) wild...I think she only bought 4 packages.

I'm glad that's all she got.  Today, I woke up all kinds of motivated.  This evening, we are going to a little get together at a friends house, and I decided I might try to make Brigid's Bacon Maple Whiskey Scones

The bacon I pulled out of the freezer was the stuff my wife bought.  When I opened up the package, this is what I found:

What is the hell is that!?!?!?!?  That has got to be just about the sorriest excuse for bacon that I have seen in my life.  I mean...really?!?!?!?! 

Not to be deterred, I did what I should have done in the first place, instead of being too lazy to work my way to the back of the freezer...broke open one of my packages of butcher block bacon I had bought a few months ago. 

After action report on how the scones turned out to follow.  For now though, I recommend staying away from the Tyson Thick Cut Bacon...even on sale, I didn't even come close to getting my money's worth. 

'Fairly Standard'

Back after Thanksgiving, a Kitsap County Deputy was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving.  One two separate tests, he registered .12, and .13 BAC.  Don't worry though...just like police are trained to use guns you and I can't use, and trained to talk on their cell-phones and radios while they drive, like you and I can't, I'm sure they are trained to drive while drunk, like you and I can't.


Deputy Argyle was sentenced yesterday, pleading guilty to 'Negligent Driving', and not anything having to do with Alcohol. 

The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office called it a 'fairly standard' punishment...at which point I would have to ask, if this is fairly standard, is it fair, or right?  I did a check of the Pierce County Prosecutes site, and couldn't find any kind of stats about how frequently this type of plea is allowed.

Our DUI punishment makes me mad, which is hypocritical of me, because, and I have admitted this before, when I was younger and dumber, I drove home once or twice at a point beyond 'tipsy'.  I was lucky, and never got caught, AND never hurt anyone else. 

Over the years, I realize how horribly lucky I was.  I now have the opinion that driving drunk is just like walking into a mall, closing my eyes, and intentionally firing a gun in a random direction.  If I'm lucky, no one will get hit.  If I'm unlucky...well, we all know the worst case.

If I was to walk into a mall and fire that gun, do you think I would get to plead down to a misdemeanor? 

We all know the answer to that. 

So...if this type of plea is routinely allowed for The Rest of Us, that makes me a bit sad, but I can't say that this guy should get any harsher legal punishment just because he is a police officer. 

He shouldn't still have his job as a patrol deputy though.  Once again, relating things back to my past, if I had ever gotten caught driving under the influence, the punishment handed out by the legal system would have paled compared to what the Navy would have done to me.  It was made clear early on in my Naval Career that Driving under the Influence reflected poor judgement, and the Naval Nuclear Power Program had no room for poor judgement.  I saw more than one guy get caught, and get bounced.  We're talking guys throwing away 12-14 year careers because of a DUI.  They weren't always kicked all the way out of the Navy, but they were given positions of greatly reduced responsibility. 

That's why the last paragraph of the story kind of spins me up.  The Deputy in this case has been restored to duty, pending the completion of an investigation. 

I don't expect any less judgement from a police officer than I did from some of the chuckle heads I used to run reactors with.  Stick this guy behind a desk, or cleaning the bathrooms until he decides to retire. 


Horrified, yet intriqued.

Yesterday after work, I had to go meet my wife and kids at Home Link, which is the Alternate Learning Experience that my wife does with the girls.  Technically, Home Link means that my girls are actually enrolled in public school, even though my wife is their primary teacher at home.  She has to go over her teaching plans with a councilor, and submit progress reports, but there is also a co-op feel to Home Link, where there are weekly workshops offered that our kids can participate in.

None of that is important right now though, other than to make a point that after work last night, I got to drive by the Taco Bell here in Richland.  Not through, just past.

Now...I have been known to eat some Taco Bell.  Heck...I've occasionally even been known to crave Taco Bell.  It's not really the flavor...it's just something about the overall 'nastiness' of it that must trip some primal instinct...Mmmmm....processed beef product, and nacho flavored cheese food.  Oh, and you want to put 'sour cream sauce' and crumbled up Doritos on it?  Given their price point and the convenience of their hours, I'm think anyone who has ever had too much to drink has eaten Taco Bell. 

Yesterday though, I was thrown for a bit of a loop.  Instead of their newest meat and cheese flavored gut bomb being advertised on the side of the building, they had posters for 'First Meal'(an Taco Bell aficionado would know that Taco Bell tries to lure in the post-drinking crowd by referring to most of their menu as '4th Meal').  'First Meal', then, is their attempt at, gulp, the breakfast crowd. 

I'm not a big fan of fast food breakfast.  I can throw together a PB&J to eat in my truck in less time than I would spend in a drive-through line.  About the only fast food breakfast item I really enjoy is the steak and egg breakfast burrito from Jack in the Box.  I'm not a fan of the poached/fried eggs they put on most breakfast sandwichs at McD's and Burger King. 

Now, the other strange strategy with Taco Bell(and the thing that means it's uncertain when I will do a review of their breakfast) is their hours.  Leaving NO doubt that they are aiming for the post-drinking binge hung-over crowd, Taco Bell isn't starting to serve breakfast until 8, and then will stop at 11.

If they don't get you on your way home from the bar the night before, they'll get you as you stumble into work/class late the next day.


You showed them, alright.

Just a slow head shake on this one...

Suspect tells detectives he was stealing to prove a point to his parents

Umm.  Umm.  Yeah. 

At least his parents didn't tell him he didn't have the stones to kill someone...


Flipping through netflix last night, I saw that they had added 10 episodes of the series 'Archer' to their streaming options.  I have never watched 'Archer' but it comes very highly regarded.  I've seen it pop up on on a lot of 'Best Animated Series' and 'Best Show your aren't watching' kind of lists.

What the heck...the wife and I decided to give it a try.

Great decision. It is freaking hilarious. 

Now, becaue the gun/prepper community tends to overlap with some of the conservative right, I will put a bit of a disclaimer out there...this is a naughty, naughty show.  While I don't think think I heard any real curse words, there is a much 'inappropriate' behavior.

Very funny inappropriate behavior. 

If you are someone who doesn't take things too seriously, I highly recommend you give 'Archer' a try. 


Good to hear.

Back in December, the Snohomish County Prosecutors were trying to decide if they were going to press manslaughter charges against a 67-year old man who was defending his property.  The original story can be found here, but the long and short of it, a guy came home to find someone stealing his outboard motor off his boat.  He confronted the other guy, and he got the upper hand on the thief, holding him down until the police could be contacted. 

Part of his technique for holding the guy down involved throwing his arm around his neck, and as a result the potential motor thief died. 

Many tears may have been shed, but none of them by me. 

Today, the Snohomish County Prosecutors announced that they WERE NOT going to press charges.  Not only did they feel that they didn't have enough witnesses to make a case stick, but it turns out the thief had a potentially lethal amount of methamphetamine
in his system too, so they can't even prove that the gentleman's arm around his neck is what killed him.

Hooray for the good guys!


Don't bring a knife to a gun fight...

Just bring your anger. 

In a 'Oh my Gosh, I'm not sure I'm that tough/brave/stupid' story, a 49-year old mini-mart owner LOST HIS MIND, and decided to fight back against a guy that was robbing his store. 

Things weren't exactly evenly matched...the robber had a sawed-off shotgun, and Ramon Valdez had nothing but his rage.  Mr. Valdez started off doing the smart thing...he hid in his bathroom and called the police.  After doing that though, he took a peek out of the bathroom, and the sight of this guy rifling through his desk was too much to bear.  He charged the guy, and managed to protect his property(and his life).

'Angry' mini-mart manager lucky to be alive after robbery

Man oh man...I'm not sure I have the cojones to do that.  Oh...if I was being threatened, I would fight back instead of going down easy...but it sounds like Mr. Valdez would have been pretty safe hiding out in his bathroom.  Maybe if I had a gun on me, or hidden in the bathroom, you could think about confronting the guy if you think you have the drop on him...but, having to charge him, and then wrestle with him for it...does your life flash before your eyes when that gun goes off?

The best part of the story is the honor among thieves part.  Not only does 39-year old David Vickers get his shotgun taken from him, and then have it used to beat him over the head...his buddy driving the get-away car LEAVES him to get his ass-kicked. 


Mr. Ramon Valdez, you are one hell of a man...just don't do it again. 

Charging a man with a sawed-off shotgun is not something you want to have to try more than once. 


Tell me I'm a good man.

If I'm sitting on the couch, and tears are running down my face as a movie draws to a close, there is a really good chance that I'm watching 'Saving Private Ryan'.  This is true even if I just watched it the day before(TNT had Private Ryan on a few times this weekend, and FX had Unforgiven on a few times...good movie weekend). 

'Saving Private Ryan' isn't the only movie that makes me a little weapy...other movies with that effect are 'Backdraft', the original 'Charlotte's Web' and 'Watership Down'(no, I'm not still 8 years old).

My wife kind of gets it.  She acknowledges that it's sad when Tom Hank's charecter dies...but that's not really it.  For me, it's the flash forward to the cemetary, where James Ryan asks his wife to tell him if he's been a good man. 

I don't think women have this need.  I mean...my wife doesn't seem to have it, and...I don't know enough other women that intimately to know if they do.  My wife is much more secure with her place in the work, and her impact on those around her.  She has our amazing kids to prove that she's doing things right.  I don't. 

Oh, don't get me wrong.  I have the same amazing kids, and an even more amazing wife, who tells me several times a day she loves me.  So...I'm doing the family thing right. 

Sigh.  I blame it on Hollywood, and books, and Sunday nights.  There are very few movies, or books about a guy playing in the snow with his kids, or taking his wife to a winery to listen to a band on Saturday night.  Shouldn't there at least be a few zombies to shoot on the way home from the winery?

Nope...and now, after having a great LONG weekend(thanks to the snow!) my Sunday evening is counting down, and in the morning, I need to wake up and go to work...and while there might be some drooling by my co-workers, they won't be zombies...and I wouldn't be a hero for treating them like they are...

Well, maybe one or two of them. 


How'd that get in there?(and it's wrong!)

So...here in Washington, we need to right right new laws to clarify and correct the poorly written laws that have been previously passed, because THAT is effective government.

In this case, previous laws had been written to clarify punishment for behavior that does qualify as full on 'disorderly conduct'.  Some how though, while that law applied to Public Transit, it missed on covering behavior on the Washington State Ferries...so, you had to have your dog on a leash in down-town Seattle, but as soon as you got on the ferry pier, you could let him off his leash.

The horror. 

So, to cover this gap, Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker, at the urging of Capt. Jason Berry, Legislative Liason for the State Police, introduced a bill that would help troopers control 'inappropriate behavior' on the state ferries, with 'inappropriate behavior' defined below as:

smoking, spitting, littering, playing radios, urinating or defecating in places other than approved plumbing fixtures, carrying firearms or flammable liquids, roller-skating, skateboarding, gambling, trying to pass oneself off as a ferry worker, and letting a pet off its leash as misdemeanors.

Wait a minute...what was that one in between public pooping, and carrying flammable liquids?  Carrying firearms? 

Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky.  The article doesn't even point that out...the headline is all about stopping people spitting and peeing. 

That can't be right...let's go looking at what SB 6245 REALLY says...

(f) Carries any flammable liquid, explosive, acid, or other article or material likely to cause harm to others, except that nothing in this subsection prevents a person from carrying a cigarette, cigar, or pipe lighter or carrying a firearm or ammunition in a way that is not
otherwise prohibited by law.

Now see Tacoma Tribune...you made me get all mad for nothing.  Your article is flat out WRONG.  In fact, the bill goes out of it's way to point out that following the law while carrying your gun WILL NOT get you in trouble. 

Luckily, I went to the source, instead of getting all raged up(well, I got all raged up, but luckily, I checked the facts before looking a fool)...unlike the 10 or 12 folks who commented on the original news story...but hey, at least they were on our side! 

Better than it looks...

After getting the girls their toast for breakfast this morning, I found myself hunting in the fridge for something more 'substantial'. 

Let's see...some left over corn bread from dinner last night, some left over pulled pork and baked beans from dinner Thursday.  That's gotta be good for something.  Throw the pork and beans in the skillet, and throw some crumbled corn bread on top.  Toss in a scrambled egg and some jack cheese to bind it together and...viola!

Well...you aren't going to see that on the cover of Bon Appetit magazine.  When I walked into the living room with it, my wife seems slightly repelled, and was not at all interested in splitting it with me.  

Which was fine...I only put 1 egg in instead of two counting on not having to share.  Looks aside, it really tasted pretty good.  A very filling breakfast. 

Maybe not as good as Bacon Maple Whiskey Scones...but I have to save something to try and make on Sunday...


Can't believe this isn't a bigger deal!

Obviously, one person can't read all the news there is to read out there, and a story or two is going to fall through the cracks.  Luckily, there are fine folks out there like Mr. Borepatch to pick them up out of the cracks, and show them the light of day, because I don't have enough rage in my life as it is.

Court strikes decision for mentally ill woman’s abortion

The only thing to do with a story like this is pass it along, which I rapidly did to my wife.  I wasn't alone in not hearing about this.  My wife has a pretty big granola/baby wearing hippy streak in her, and you would think something like this would have previously popped up in some of the circles she occasionally finds herself in...but not even a whisper.

This is a tough story, and can't be easy on any of the folks involved.  'Mary Moe' is sick, and can't take the medicine she needs because she is pregnant.  She is so sick that refuses to believe that she is pregnant, and is not getting proper medical care for the pregnancy.  Her parents are worried about her, and want her to take her medication.  They are sooooo worried about her that they went to court to seek legal assistance in having her end the pregnancy, so she can go back on her medicine. 

Sad, Sad, Sad.  It can't be easy to have to make these decisions for your daughter.  It can't be easy to be a judge having to help make these decisions for parents that are just trying to do what they think is best for their daughter. 

I myself don't have any religious opposition to abortion....but it's quite clear that the lady in this story did.  If I was faced with having to make a decision about saving the life of my daughter, or saving the life of an unborn child...I would probably side with my daughter...especially since in this case, the lady had already previously had a child(and previously had an abortion prior to having that child).  This isn't a 'life saving' decision though(okay...my wife the nurse who used to work in a mental facility says you can do violence to yourself if she was off her meds). 

The judge in this case was ruling in favor of what the parents wanted...the abortion would still have required their concurrence, as would the 'sterlization', and I think having read the whole story through, it's really that 'sterlization' part of it that tripped my trigger.  The parents weren't asking for that, and there was absolutely no need to make a bad situation worse by ordering that course of action.

The judge, perhaps sensing the poop storm that was going to be triggered by this decision, has recently retired, and it was unable to be reached for contact. 

It's going too far.

I'm not what you would call a 'politically correct' person.  Oh, I try to avoid going out of my way to give offense to an individual, but that's just good manners in my book. 

One of the rallying points of the PC community the last few years has been team names and mascots. Things like the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves are portrayed to be offensive to Native Americans, but so far not much traction has been gained in changing these names.

Some teams have caved under the pressure.  The University of Mississippi cashiered Colonel Reb, and replaced him with a Rebel Black Bear on the side lines.  The one time Washington Bullets of the NBA are now the Washington Wizards, because bulllets are bad, but Gandalf and Harry Potter are good. 

I can kind of slightly understand some of the negative feelings people feel towards the above team names...but this new problem, out of Utah, has me scratching my head.

School can't call team Cougars because it offends some women

Ummm...wow.  Now, this article goes on to say that the fact there were so many other teams calling themselves 'Cougars' and that the new High Schools colors would make them look so much like the BYU Cougars also entered in the decision, but...that sounds like rationalization on their part.  I think a few goofy parents called the school board, and the number/proximatey of other schools calling them 'Cougars' gave them an easy out. 

I might go start a protest against the University of Washington Huskies...brings back bad memories of when us chubby kids had to wear 'Husky' Toughskins back in the day... 


I'm getting better...I didn't throw it against the wall!

Technology and I don't always get along.  I'm pretty far from 'cutting edge', and I embrace technology as a tool, a means to an end, and not the end itself.

Tonight, the technology let me down. 

I like Jeopardy, and I'm more than pretty good at it.  I have a mind for trivial knowledge, and things just kind of 'stick'  With the right set of catagories, I feel I could easily win an episode or two, or even three or four. 

The first step of qualifying to get on Jeopardy is taking an online test, which I have taken 3 times now.  I haven't ever been called for the next step, but I don't think it is because of a lack of knowledge.  My number just hasn't come up.  I can deal with that.

What I can't deal with is an Internet Exploder failure 2 questions into the test, like happened to me this evening.  I was online ten minutes early.  I had run all the 'prove your computer can run this program' program.  I had a whisky and coke handy, as mental lubricant. 

And I got kicked out as I tried to answer the 2nd question(the answer was Catch 22).

That was about an hour ago, and I think I'm finally recovering from my pouting.  The wife has been unimpressed with the pouting, but glad that I didn't treat the laptop the way I treated my remote control after the David Tyree catch.

There will be another chance in 6 months or so...more opportunity to study. 

Snow my Gawd!

Well, as you may have heard, we have gotten to deal with a wee winter storm the last day or two.  Some people would say it's not a good sign when Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel is hanging out in your neck of the woods, but since just last week I was doing some major moping about the lack of snow, I'm not about to start complaining now.

Here in the Tri-cities, we received anywhere from 4-8 inches yesterday.  The storm reached us too late to delay my arrival at work yesterday(it really didn't start snowing until 4am), but by 11 in the morning, it was conceded that the snow plows weren't going to be able to keep up, so an early release was granted.  People actually drove safe and sound, and my normal half-hour drive home took just over 80 minutes. 

Lesson learned yesterday was don't try going to work again with less than 1/8th of a tank of gas.  If things had really bogged down on the way home, I'm not sure I would have the gas to make it.  Bad Greg...

Wednesday the Richland School district caught a lot of grief from parents for calling a late start, and THEN and early dismissal, instead of just cancelling for the day. Determined not be 2nd guessed again, they called school off for Thursday before 6pm Wednesday night.

I was not quite as lucky...I had to go to bed on time, so I could wake up and hear my fate.  The initial call was a 3-hour late arrival(one of the negatives of a 9-hour day...you can miss three, and still have it be worthwhile for you to show up).  Since we were all up, my boss said him and my fellow supervisors should get together for breakfast at Sterlings(yeah...not safe enough for the 20 mile drive to work, but willing to chance the one-mile drive to Sterlings for biscuits and gravy.)

Breakfast conversation mostly involved complaining about the fact that we were going to have to go in at all, but, it makes sense.  I mean...we are a government contractor, and in this day and age of budget issues, we must appear to be good stewards of the tax-payers money(especially a day after USA Today runs a piece detailing all the problems with the Hanford Vit Plant...not my company, but Hanford is Hanford as far as the rest of the world cares). 

About half-way through breakfast, my bosses cell-phone went off with a message...work had been cancelled, and it's the right call.  Where-as Wednesday had been mostly nice snow, what's coming down today would be classified as a wintry mix.  There is expected to be another 2-inches or so of snow accumulation, but it's got bands of freezing rain mixed in with it.  I made the mistake of leaving my wind-shield wipers down on my truck, and it took 10 minutes to get the ice on them melted enough for them to move.

While the kids went out and had fun in the snow yesterday, I don't know if we are going to let them play outside today...the snow bands are okay, but those periods of freezing rain are pneumonia falling from the sky.  Strangely, I am the one saying keep them inside, while my normally cautious wife is pushing them outside. 

We still have power(just because there are not too many trees here in the desert) but around Seattle 100,000 folks are without it.  If we do lose it, we should be fine(except for the internet going away!).  I no longer have two cords of wood like I did in our old house, but we do have enough duraflame and presto logs to stave off the ice inside for about 36-48 hours before we would have to start burning books, or kitchen chairs. 

Plus, we have peppermint schapps and swiss miss.  Now, that's a good time.


I am a chronic re-reader.  90% of the books that have passed through my hands in the last year are books I have previously read by the likes of Robert Heinlein, Alistair MacLean, Stephen King and Tom Clancy.  A big part of it is my reading habit.  I like to read, but I don't always have huge stretches of time available to immerse myself in a getting into a new book.  It's just easier mentally to pick up something I have already read, and jump into a favorite passage or two before nodding off to sleep(or while using the potty).

I have read a few new books in the last year.  My wife and I worked through the Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.  We have read all of Larry Corria's stuff, and read the new Rawles book that came out.  And that is about it. 

Until now.

Steampunk is all the rage right now...and other than admiring pictures of models wearing corsets with gear pieces pinned to them, I haven't really embraced the culture yet.  Late to the party, as usual.  For Christmas, I picked up a few books by Cherie Priest: 'Boneshaker' and 'Dreadnought'.  They are books we have looked at once or twice, but just never splurged for, which is what the Christmas season is all about, right?  Plus, in November it was announced that 'Boneshaker' was picked up by Hammer Studios to be made into a movie, and it has gotten really good reviews. 

Anyway...'Boneshaker' is the first book in what Cherie Priest calls her 'Clockwork Century' series.  You know it is steampunk because the cover picture has someone wearing goggles with extra lenses, and there is a strange looking blimp reflected in the goggles.  I promise that is the last snarky comment I will make, because it is a really good book, even if I don't necessarily get 'steampunk'(other than the girls in corsets and thigh-highs with gear pieces pinned to them).

It's an interesting setting.  Cherie uses an alternate history Seattle, where the Civil War is still raging after 16 years, and the Klondike Gold Rush caused Seattle to bloom much earlier than in our timeline.  Seattle also then faded, the site of a horrible accident during a drilling experiment, which released 'blight gas' into the city. 

The blight gas is bad ju-ju.  It's not just a poison that kills...it also brings some of the victims back as 'rotters'(zombies to you and me).  The only way to keep the gas from spreading is to build a 200-foot wall around most of Seattle, creating a walled off bowl of anarchy and conflicting factions, into which our heroes venture.

Except, they aren't really heroes.  The two main characters in the book are Briar and Zeke Wilkes, the widow and son of the man who brought this ruin to the fine city of Seattle.  Briar has had a tough 16-years since the accident, as most people hold her responsible for what her husband did.  Zeke, not as willing to take it as Briar is, sets out to collect evidence to prove his father was not the bastard that people made him out to be.  Of course, the only way to do that is to head into Seattle, where Briar follows to make sure he gets out alive.

It's a good story, and Cherie does a fine job of world building.  The only real negative is that it takes a while to feel anything for the two main characters.  They just kind of feel like pawns who are going through motions to advance the story...which is an interesting story, and it's engrossing...but it's not until about 2/3rds of the way through the book where you kind of find youself wondering if Briar and Zeke are going to be okay.

I recommend the book.  If you are at all into zombies, or steampunk, or alternate history, or books where widows rescue their kids using Spencer Repeating Carbine's, give this one a chance. 

Especially before the movie comes out.


Money to Burn...

Saturday, Yong Chun Kim was leading a group of folks on a little snow-shoeing adventure on Mount Rainer, when he got himself in a litle trouble.  He took a spill down a slope, and while he was still in voice contact with the rest of his group, he told them he was fine, and he would meet them back at the lodge, after taking the scenic route back.

Except, it gets awfully dark, awfully fast this time of year, and after a wrong turn or two, Mr. Kim was pretty lost, and never made it back to the lodge that night.

He seems to have kept his head, and instead of walking himself into disaster, he holed up for the night in the relative shelter under a large pine tree.  The article says he had a firestarter with him, and tried burning leaves, but had to resort to burning his socks, and then some of the cash he had in his wallet to keep warm.

Rescued snowshoer burned money to stay warm

I'm not sure what kind of dire straights I would have to be in to burn my socks...even if it was a spare pair.  I would burn the cash before I would strand myself with soggy feet in the snow.  It's just proof that having a lighter, or some matches isn't enough.  When I am out and about, in addition to having at least two ways to produce a flame, I have a few ways to keep the flame going a while. 

While there are many fancy commercial products(compressed saw dust in resin, fire gel, and some folks like the Esbit Stove Pellets), I prefer cheaper homemade options:  I smear some cottenballs in vaseline or melted candle-wax, then stuff them into used toilet paper rolls(the empty cardboard roll, not used toilet paper).  My wife has an idea for using the empty lids of beer bottles to make mini-candles, but heck, even a few tea-lights in a zip-lock bag might keep you from having to burn a Fiver or two...

Or your socks...


Warning Signs.

Getting kind worried about one of my teeth.  For the last week or so, every time I have taken a drink of something nice and cold, there has been a definite 'discomfort' in the lower rear left corner of my mouth.  Can't quite call it a pain, because it isn't...but if I go from hot soup to ice cold water, it DOES catch my attention.

And now I'll be able to tell how often my wife checks my blog, since I haven't admitted this to her yet...


Well, it's worked with cigarettes...

It's not like I'm a big fan of taxes in general, so you imagine my dislike when an attempt it made to use taxes to control behavior. 

Can't pass gun-control through legislation?  Well, propose a nickle-per-bullet tax(or even $1 per bullet). 

'Sin' taxes ae no better...sooner or later, .gov gets gready, and the taxes go high enough that people do decide their bad habits are getting too expensive.  Tabacco has finally hit this point. 

Now, in an attempt to save us from ourselves, a bunch of researchers at the University of California, San Franscisco are recommending a new soda tax.  They estimate that a 1 cent an ounce tax could prevent 26,000 deaths a year. 

No word on how much money could be raised by this, but if the number the article gives of 13 BILLION gallons of 'sweetened beverages' is accurate...well, let's see...128 ounces per gallon...about 17 Billion in gained revenues a year.

Based on estimates from what I guess is a government funded study. 

It would have it's effect though...if you want to add 70 cents to a 2 liter of soda, I'm probably not going to drink as much. 

Good thing crystal light with peach schnapps tastes okay...


Then that must be how it really happened!

Flipping through the TV channels after my beloved Patriots destroyed the Denver Bronco's, I was torn...Tombstone had about half-an-hour left on one channel, while The Outlaw Josey Wales had been on for about half-an-hour on another channel.  Now, of the two, Josey Wales is a much better movie than Tombstone, but Tombstone is fairly entertaining.

I flipped back and forth until Doc shot Johnny Ringo in the head, and then settled in for some Josey Wales.  I had been watching it for about 10 minutes, when I had to sit through the first commercial.  It was during the return the from the commercials that I realized I was watching the HISTORY CHANNEL. 

Now, I'm not one to complain about any opportunity to watch Josey Wales, but much like I'm sad that MTV no longer plays music videos, I'm kind of bummed at the thought that the History Channel might not actually show, you know, REAL history? 

I hear maybe they are going to have a Koren War Special 'M.A.S.H.' marathon tomorrow. 

Looking out for the lightening strikes...

While being slightly dismayed to hear that Obama's new chief of staff is an 'expert on executive powers', I really have to say I am not sure if I can find anything to dislike about the President's newest power grab, seeking the power to merge Federal Agencies.  I think the only people who can find anything wrong with it are Republican's who dislike the President on principle, because of who and what he is. 

In fact, more than just saying I can't find anything to dislike about it, I am going to acknowledge it as a bloody brilliant political move(I was going to further and say that other than Obamacara, and raising the debt limit, Barry hasn't done a lot of bad things, but upon reflection, those two things are really all he HAS done).  The Republican's biggest weapon is Obama's lack of progress on ANYTHING, and their 'Smaller Government' Mantra(which, is all just lies anyway(well, other than that CRAZY Dr. Paul).

Even if it is 'only' 3 billion in savings over 10 years, it is that 'something' type of forward progress that is perfect for the upcoming election.  Especially since the news stories are all pointing out how Reagan was the last one to have this type of power.

If Obama can make any kind of connection between himself and Ronnie, that's a huge blow to whichever RINO does get the nomination(other than that CRAZY Dr. Paul)


Burn her at the stake...

Things have been busy the last few days(my wife and I have been burning through season two of Glee on Netflix) and other than Ron Paul being dismissed after a 2nd place finish in New Hampshire, there hasn't been much that I have felt the need to rage about.

Until now.
Mom Charged After Twins Found Dead in Trunk

I'm not always a judgemental person.  I can spend 10 minutes staring at peanut butter at the store trying to decide between creamy and crunchy. 

When it comes to crimes against children though...I'm Nancy Grace's target audience, as much as it shames me to admit it.  The last paragragh of the story says she admitted to law enforcement officers that she admitted to acting to terminate the lives of her new born twins...which is all I need to see. 

This lady should be out of the news and cooling in the ground before I go back to work on Monday. 


Comic Interlude

Was cruising the Spokane Spokesman earlier today, and found a video they had posted:  A compilation of firearms mishaps

I can't say it is 9 minutes of comic gold, but there are more than a few laughs, and more than a few lessons to be learned.  I suspect there are a few clips in there that are staged, but there are also a whole bunch of scope bit folks, and a dozen reasons not to get a pistol grip only shotgun.

The worst one of the bunch is the one about 4:50 in, where the little kid ends up shooting the parent in the belly.  If that is real, the guy deserved it. 

Please to enjoy:


Whoa...don't bog me down with details!

I understand in this day and age of instant gratification, it pays to be the first one to hit the street with something.  I just question what the point is in being the first to come out with a story that has no details.

Case in point provided by the Everett Herald:

Homeowner fatally shoots suspected burglar south of Everett, police say.

EVERETT -- One man is dead after a reported shooting Monday just south of Everett.

Police believe a homeowner shot and killed a suspected burglar, Snohomish County sheriff's bureau chief Kevin Prentiss said.

The shooting was reported just before noon in the 10500 block of 21st Avenue SE. Detectives with the Major Crimes Unit are investigating.

Further details weren't immediately available.

Yup...that's it.  And 6 hours later, the Everett Herald has yet to come out with an update.  Luckily, Komo News 4 is still out there to get us real time data, and so far it seems like it was a rightous shoot.  Guy comes home and finds a stranger in his house.  The confrontation quickly gets heated, and the guy who doesn't belong in the house gets dead.

The neighbors don't exactly seem broken hearted about it either.  Seems like they have gotten tired of things going downhill in their neighborhood. 



I'm not one to judge when it comes to pets.  I am a cat person, and not a dog person.   I have a snake, which while it's is cool, doesn't actually show much affection. 

If I was not confined by living in an apartment(and being married(but it's a good confinement with side benefits), then I would probably have more than one snake, and more than one cat...and a ferret.  I just think ferret's are neato.  Oh, I've heard they can have a funk about them...but have you ever been around an 8-week old baby?  Ferret's just seem like they would be fun.  Oh...and a racoon(or a billy-bumbler).

So, I was a little caught by surprise by the newest craze sweeping my wife's facebook world: Hedgehogs.  Just this week, two of her friends have gotten hedgehogs as pets.

Now, I always thought of hedgehogs as kind of being a mini-porcupine...which wouldn't be much fun to cuddle with as a pet, but, after my wife showed me a few pictures of her friends with their hedgehogs, I will admit to being slightly intriqued.  I even visited the sickiningly sweet website Hedgies.

Only slightly intriqued though...the few breeders I checked out have waiting lists.  And they want between $175 and $200 for one. 


I'm sure they are just as cute in pictures as they would be in my apartment. 

picture from www.petside.com

Or in my snakes tank.

They were all wrong!

I'm not big on 'fact checking' the Presidential Debates...heck, I'm not really big on watching the Presidential Debates, but I happened to turn in to the end of Saturday Nights debate, just in time to hear the final question.

'If you weren't here, what would you be doing this Saturday night?' 

Rick Perry threw himself on the grenade first, saying he would be at the gun range.  Great answer Mr. Perry, but I still don't see myself voting for you. 

Newt Gingrich then tried to align himself with The Everyman, saying he would be home watching the National Championship Basketball Game.  One of the other candidates then corrected him, by saying football, not basketball.

Three of the other candidates then tripped over each other, trying to agree with Newt, saying they also would be gathered at home watching the National Championship game, with their loving families.  Because, that's what Everyman wants to hear.

The only real problem is the National Championship game in on Monday night...not Saturday Night.


Maybe they meant they would be home watching themselves get made fun of on Saturday Night Live...

John Huntsman, who almost doesn't count as a candidate anymore, is the only one whose answer didn't make me mad...he said he would probably call his two sons in the Navy, to tell him he was proud of them.

I don't think it's really what he would do on a Saturday evening, but I didn't sense he was lying about his feelings. 


I never thought of myself as 'out of touch'.

I am going to admit to having a certain preconcieved notion of what I expect out of 'Cosmopolitan' magazine.  I expect it will have articles aimed mostly at women, having to do with finding the right man, dressing sexier to find a man right now(if finding the right man isn't your goal) and how to both get, and give, more pleasure once you have found either Mr. Right, or Mr. Right now. There will also be a young lady of high aesthetic appeal on the cover. 

It's a formula that has obviously worked for them for quite a while.  I remember flipping through one once or twice after my parents got divorced, because my mom bought them to remind herself what it meant to be single again.  I found it usefull because it had articles about 'what men are looking for in a woman', and since I was only a teenage boy, I wasn't certain what I was supposed to be looking for in a woman. 

The only time I really notice Cosmo anymore is when I'm standing in the check-out line at the grocery store, because, well, it usually has the hottest young lady on the cover, and the most entertaining article titles.  To me it's somewhere in between Maxim and Playboy for Women.

So...there I am today in line, and the new issue of Cosmo is out, and it looks much like I expect.  There is a comely young blond lass on the cover, and an article called 'Your Vagina.  What going on down there!', and another promissing 'His Best Sex Ever'  Interesting.  There is also an article about Dakota Fanning.  Wait a minute...the comely blond lass on the cover looks familiar...hey...that IS Dakota Fanning.

Yes...the young Dakota Fanning from 'Man on Fire', 'War of the Worlds' and 'Charlotte's Web'.  And I'm oogling her on the cover of Cosmo!  I don't feel like a dirty old man, but...really, she can't be old enough to be on the cover of Cosmo...can she? 

Well...a little bit of research later, I find nope...she's isn't 18 yet.  Not until the end of February.

I also found that I'm not the first one to notice, or question the 'properness' of someone not over the age of consent in some states to appear on the cover of a magazine whose major selling point is SEX SEX SEX.

Heck, there is already a counter-argument on Huffington Post telling me to get 'my knickers out of knot'. 

The Huff Po article makes some very good points, when putting the cover appearence by Ms. Fanning in context with the rest of our 'modern' society.  She is very demurley dressed, wearing no less than she would on the cover of '17' Magazine.  She then goes on to say that Miley Cyrus and Brooke Shields appearing on magazine covers at age 15 and 14 were wrong, because of their age, but since Dakota is almost 18, it's okay...get over it.

ALMOST doesn't count.  Our laws are our laws...we HAVE to draw a line in the sand, because we can't afford to have legal ambivilance.  If a 21-year old gentleman was to be involved with Ms. Fanning at 17-years, 11 Months, that would be WRONG.  At 18-years, 1 DAY, it's okay. 

The worst part is, I'm not even sure I really have a problem with her being on the cover.  I'm a pretty big Robert Heinlein fan.  In most of his last couple of books, Ms. Fanning would be considered a right proper candidate for joining one of his group marriages!  I'm not a prude...I really don't think there is much difference between Dakota Fanning now, and Dakota Fanning 6 months ago, or 6 months from now. She is a great young actress, and is most likely more mature than half of the 20-year old's you are going to find out there.

Maybe there really is no problem, and I'm just mad at the folks at Cosmo for making me feel like a dirty old man, before my time. 

I know...you stayed through all that, and not a peek of the cover that started this whole pointless rant.  Link here.

Had a humbling range trip yesterday.

Yesterday, I went to the range with a co-worker of mine(heck, it might even be safe to start calling him a buddy).  Since he is a qualified range officer, he is not limited to the normal 100-yard range, and rarely shoots there.  Instead, he usually sets himself up on one of the practical sports bays, which allows him to practice what he feels he needs to practice. 

Or, he takes pity on some damn fool(me!) and lets them do more than punch holes in paper over a bench. 

Mark shoots better than me.  It has nothing to do with his fancier toys...Mark rarely goes a week without some shooting practice, and NEVER goes more than two weeks.  I on the other hand...well, there were a few years when I was averaging 1000 hours of OT a year for the Shipyard that I was lucky to make it the range one every 5-6 months.

Mark is a competition shooter.  He shoots for shooting's sake.  I've seen some video of him in three gun matches...he is good.  He's not nationally ranked or anything, and I'm not going to say he's as good as the folks I see in competions on Guns and Ammo TV...but he is a lot closer to them, than he is to my level.

I, on the other hand, am either a hunter who enjoys guns, or a nacent survivalist who wants to be at least proficient in firearms.  I have never really strived for excellence.  I have allowed myself to become satisfied with 'minute of torso' accuracy, and never really worked on improving myself. 

Part of this I can blame on my schedule.  When I used to only make it to the range twice a year, I would bring 6 or 7 guns, and all I was really doing was pulling the trigger and punching holes in paper...fun, but...I never really got better.  I was just staying proficient with my firearms.

To put it in terms my golfing father could understand, Mark is probably at the club pro level, while I am a duffer more interested in the 19th hole than playing the game.  It's very similar...I am not a golfer, but occasionally I will go to the driving range with my dad...I am just teeing up a driver and pounding away, while my dad is working on specific techniques...'Today I'm just working on my fade, and my 5 iron.'

Anyway...he is better than I am, and I won't let that worry me.  I was not as bad as I feared I would be.  I was embarressed a few times at my lack of in-depth firearms knowledge.  An example of this:  My carbine upper on my AR shoots high.  I dialed down the rear sight was far as I could, and just lived with it.  Mark says...'you can adjust the front pin up a bit, you know.' 

Well, no...I didn't know.  I also didn't know there was a special tool for, that Mark happened to have.  Within 10 rounds, my peep-sights were dead on at 100-yards...makes for a much more enjoyable shooting experience.  But...there's me, with a chagrined look on my face.

He also pointed out to me that I was 'slapping and releasing' the trigger, and told me to start working on a technique where I hold the trigger squeezed back until after the bolt/slide have stopped moving.  He said that will help me keep the gun on target better for a follow-up shot.  He seems to be right(well, I'm sure he's right)...I did this a few times, and did maintain the sight-picture much better.  It's just going to take a while to get used to it...I'm fighting 15 years of bad habit muscle memory.

He also showed me a practice technique he does to work on trigger control:  While doing dry fire practice, he will stand an empty shell up on his slide/barrel.  If you can keep the gun sturdy enough while squeezing the trigger to keep the shell from falling off, your are doing well.

Finally, he did let me try some of his toys.  His AR is a little fancier than mine, but not over the top.  He told me bought the current compensated upper he was using for about 1050, which is pricey, but not insane.  Now, he did tell me the scope(I think it was some kind of Nightforce product 1X and 4X, with no variable in between) cost more than the upper...but, man, it was nice.  Shooting that compensated .223 may have spoiled me...target re-aquisition was a breeze, because you never lost it in the first place. 

Then, he let me shoot his big gun...an FNH SCAR in .308 and a can on it. 

I don't know what to say....it's a nice gun, with a nice scope on...but I couldn't hit the little resetting steel targets with it to save me life.  Not like I did with his .223, or my .223.  It wasn't the recoil...that can made it feel like a .223...I think it was his trigger.  It was too nice.  I'm used to taking up the creap on my triggers before holding my breath and firing...with his gun, there was ZERO creap, and it was messing me up. 

Finally, we did a little bit of pistol work, and I think I actually impressed him.  Or it could have just been that after I didn't know there was a special tool for adjusting an AR's front sight, he didn't expect much.  We didn't work on movement at all, but we did set up four targets so I could work on target aquisition.  He said I did a good job of swinging from my waist, and keeping my wrist and arms in-line. 


I give all credit to my CZ-75...it just points so well.  I really think I am adding another AR, and a back up CZt to my shopping list before expanding my collection again. 

That was about it.  I did do a little practice with my Marlin .357...and I am not sure if Mark was impressed, or distressed that I did better at 100 yard with it, than I did with my AR, but now that my AR is ON at 100-yards, maybe that will change. 

Can't wait to go to the range again so I can work on some of the new things he showed me. 


I'm sure this happens to all parents...

Kids fight and argue...it's going to happen.  I did some horrible things to my younger brother growing up.  Sometimes we get involved, sometimes we let them work it out amoungst themselves.

Today was one of those days:

Older Daughter: 'No, No, No...I win.  I'm a Megalania(an extinct 20-foot monitor lizard for you and me), and you said you are a marsupial tiger.  I weigh 500 pounds...you only weigh 300 pounds....you can't win.'

Younger Daughter: 'I don't want to be a marsupial tiger...I want to be a Mosasaurus(40+ foot marine reptile)...then I would win!

Older Daughter: 'That would only work if I went in the water!'

I am NOT getting in the middle of that one. 

No, no, no...I wanted the picture with the puppy!

Mistakes and errors in judgement happen all the time.  If you are lucky, no one notices your little accident.  If you are unlucky, you post your little accident facebook, for all the world to see.

Phil Parkinson, gym owner, had one of those errors in judgement.  He posted a new advertisement for his gym on facebook, with a snazzy new slogan.

The slogan works for me...'Circuit Factory...Kiss your calories goodbye'  Not a bad slogan at all to put on a poster, paired with the correct image. 

In this case, the correct image would be anything other than what he chose...a picture of the railroad tracks leading up to Auschwitz!

picture from www.newyork.cbslocal.com

No, that's not an earthquake...it was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor.

I'm not trying to be too high and mighty.  It's entirely possible that at some point in my life, I have told a joke that would have offended someone, somewhere.  I'm just not sure how you convince yourself that comparing your business to a place where 1.3 MILLION people died is a good idea. 

Oy vey.

Read this story yesterday on yahoo, about the 'Human Barbie' mother over in Britain, who gave her 7-year old daughter a voucher for her Christmas present.  I usually have no problem giving vouchers, or gift certificates, or gift cards to stores as gifts.  In this case though, the voucher wasn't to something like Toys-R-Us, or che target, or even McDonalds...it was a voucher for 7000 pounds sterling worth of liposuction, should she need it some day. 

My head, and my belly, have been rumbling ever since reading it...and I have formed an Opinion.

I don't, don't, don't, don',t don't, don't, don't, DO NOT like this.  One little bit.

This kind of makes me the way I feel when stumble onto an episode of 'Toddlers and Tiaras' on TV...but 49 times worse. 

I feel so strongly about this, I almost nominated this lady for Worst Parent EVER...because to me there isn't a whole lot of difference between convincing your 7-year old daughter she is going to need lipo(and a boob job) at some point and locking them in room, or keeping them in a cage.  But...there is a slight difference...and the fact that this lady obviously loves her daughter in her own sick way saves her than nomination.

I'm still not okay with this though.

I pride myself on having a pragmatic and realistic view of the world, even if I do occasionally have bouts of idealism.  As an adult male, I look around the world, and have formed a certain opinion about beauty...and that opinion is, that right or wrong...looks DO matter.  Turn on the TV, and go to the weather channel.  Not one of their female on air personalities is lacking in the aesthetic appeal department.  Heck...just a few weeks ago, I was extolling the appeal of Robin Meade. 

There is nothing about predicting the weather, or reporting the news, that requires one to be fit and attractive...but, an overwhelming majority of the people who succeed in doing this on TV fall into that category.  I'm sure the men folk filling this job catch a woman's eye, just the female's catch my eye.  TV might not be the REAL world, but it does reflect our reality.

That being said...I also want to make it clear that in my world, there is clear line between succeeding because you are clean, fit, attractive and package yourself well, and trying trade on your sexuality. 

One of those will get you a job on the Weather Channel, the other will get you a job at a Gentleman's Club, or working as a bikini barista.  I almost targeted Hooters Waitresses, but as someone who enjoyed me some wings quite often when I was younger man, I can't go there.  Most Hooters waitress I knew were nice young ladies who would have LOVED to find a job letting them wear more than orange shorts and tank top that paid that much. 

So...as a parent of two young girls, whose ages bracket that of this 7-year old...I find myself often at a loss of how to convey my view of reality to my girls, without breaking them in the process.  To this point, this has pretty much involved me keeping my mouth shut about daddy's view of the real world.  My wife convinced me early on, that if I do nothing else as a positive male role model for my girls, I have to tell them every day that they are beautiful.

And so, I do that every day...and it helps that my daughters are beautiful.  Daddy would hate to be a liar.  Over the last summer, with the increase in sunshine from living on the East side of the mountains, my older daughter really freckled up...and she was heart broken.  DEVASTATED.  My wife and I had to compliment her freckles constantly for two weeks before she kind of got over it. 

The only thing I worry about in the least about my girls is their weight, and that is only because for most of their lives, my wife and I haven't been setting the best example for them on weight.  Luckily, my wife decided to get motivated so I didn't have to.  We keep an eye things subtly.  The only time either of them get on a scale is at the doctors...we just try to limit overly sweet snacks and treats.  If you are having chocolate milk with a meal, then after that, it's water.  Both of them are going to be short, and just like there mom, 5 pounds is going to make a difference in how they look...it already does on my older one.  She will go through a week or two period where she is getting the barest hint of a belly, and then a week or two later she will shoot up an inch or two, and it disappears.  We never mention this to her, because there is no reason to.  I couldn't imagine giving her a certificate for liposuction, just in case she can never get rid of that 'stubborn belly fat'. 

Sigh...I've gone somewhat far off course.  I was simply trying to get across that as a parent, I understand that at some point, we have to get them ready for the real world, and an honest discussion about the importance of taking care of yourself, and presenting yourself pleasently to the world should be part of that discussion. 

$25,000 dollars worth of vouchers for plastic surgery, because you won't be complete without it, should not be part of that discussion.


Range Preps

Made plans to go shooting tomorrow with one of my co-workers.  I'm more excited/nervous about it than I have been about any other range trip in quite a while.  The guy I'm going shooting with is qualified as a range officer at our local range, and he is going to take me shooting in the practical pistol bays. 

This will be a first time for me.  Other than two or three times I went shooting at 'the old rock quarry', all of my shooting has been done in a carefully controlled manner at the range...standing still at the firing line, firing one round at a time(maybe occasionally being able to get away with a double-tap or two).  I've never really gotten to practice firing from the draw, or firing on the move, or multiple target aquisition techniques.  Pretty much, my shooting experience has been limited to punching holes in stationary pieces of paper, while I stand stationary.

I'm not too bad that type of shooting...but I am terribly worried that tomorrow is going to prove that I am barely able to claim I am not dangerous to myself, let alone dangerous to a hoard of zombies. 

Oh well...we can't fix it if we don't know it is broken. 


Resume Reading

Not much blogging tonight...I actually have some homework.  Due to some shuffling that happened over the last two months, I am lacking a Lead Technician to keep me out of trouble.  I posted the opening before Christmas, and I now I get to 'grade' a few resumes before settling on the top two candidates for interviews.

I suppose I could have done it at work, but sometimes things like this are more fun with glass containing some diet coke and Gentleman Jack's by your side.

Two things are readily apparent to me: 

Since this opening was an internal one, for technicians already working for my company, on paper, most of these folks are WAY more qualified than I am.  They should be interviewing me. 

I have always known, and this confirms it, that I fell into a pretty good situtation in both my naval career, and with the shipyard.  It's somewhat amazing how little motivation it takes to get yourself picked out of a crowd to be given an opportunity.  The real trick lays in not shooting yourself in the foot when you get that opportunity.

Second...I have lived a very sheltered life.  Even if we included jobs I had before I graduated high school...I have only had 5 different jobs: Baggage Clerk in high school, Hot Tub Cover maker the summer after graduating, then the Navy, The Shipyard, and now being a RADCON Manager at Hanford. 

Some of these resumes I look at...folks have a new job every 12-18 months!  It's tough to tell if that is them getting bored, or them being asked to move on.  I guess that is why we have a request for references.

Anyway...it's very exciting, and I should probably get back to it. 

First, a musical interlude! 


Because we are scared of the dark.

My wife's little Orgy of Organization is winding down, simply because we are in an apartment, and there is only so much to organize. 

One of her last major projects was the linen closet off of our bathroom, or what could have been a linen closet if we were less prepared individuals.  In our case, it's much more multipurpose than that, linen's being one of the few things NOT stored in it.  Most of the contents can be broken down in three categories: Medical/First Aid, Personal Hygiene, and candles. 

While she was doing this, we discussed it would be a good opportunity to start an actual inventory of what we have in stock.  She didn't go down to the last band aid, but she kept track of the major stuff:

14 Bottle of Shampoo
10 Bottles of Conditioner(answering Adam Sandlers question about which one is more important)
35 Bars of soap(although, 12 of them are little hotel size bars)
56 Disposable Razor's
75 Replaceable Razor Blades(but, much like my ammo collection, there is too much variety...I think we have a few blades without matching handles)
10 bottles of hand sanitizer(I think my wife the germ-freak nurse would drink this if she could)

And then, we have candles.
306 small candles(tea lights, votives, and thin hanukkah style tapers)
288 Shabbos candles
Roughly 40 medium/large column candles that don't fit any specific categories. 

Yeah, that's a total of about 634 wicks. 

Why so many candles?  I'm not sure...they just seem to be something that we buy whenever they are on sale, and then use only sparingly.  It's not like they are going to go bad, so why not stock up on them when they are on sale. 

Do I think that this closet full of stuff is going to help me survive in the Zombie Apocolypse?  No...but at least we won't die in the dark


I'm so weak.

Even before the clock struck Midnight, I was already mentally adjusting my Resolution. 

Earlier in the day, when my wife had asked me if I had come up with my New Years Resolution yet, and I told her I had, and that it was tied to her step-brother.  A few days before, she had told me that her step-bother had lost 20 pounds, and I joked if he had just given up beer.

Meant as a smart-ass comment, it had rattled around in my own head for a few days, making me wonder how many empty calories I am consuming every week in carbonated beverages.  I don't drink beer every night, but when you figure 2 every couple of nights, and more than 2 on Sunday's watching football...well, and average week would be 7-8 beers, at 160ish calories a piece.  Figure in that if I am drinking beer watching football, I am probably snacking on something too...all told, we are looking at probably 1 pounds worth of calories every two weeks.

Not a joke at all. 

So...when asked, I told me wife that for my New Years Resolution, I was going to give up beer.  Not alcohol, because I don't feel I have any kind of an alcohol problem...just a waist line problem, and diet soda and whisky have a much more acceptable calorie load. 

A few hours later, one of my friends told me about a new bar that was opening in town, with over 50 taps...trending to local microbrews.  Sigh.  So...my first modification to my resolution was to allow for a beer or two if I was out at a bar. 

My 2nd modification came after a buddy of mine invited me to his house Monday to watch what should be two of the best college bowl games(Rose and Fiesta), and pointed out to me that the Superbowl is only a bit over a month away.

So, before we even rang in the New Year, I had changed my resolution to no more drinking beer sitting around the house by myself. 

I'm off to a good start....10:45 and I haven't had a spot of beer yet!  I even dumped out the 1 Killians I had in my fridge, to remove the temptation.