November 29, 2016

How Do You Reconcile That?

So, predictably, the left is all in a huff over President-Elect Trump wanting to outlaw flag buring, and punish it by jail time or loss of citizenship.

First, let's dispense with the obvious: Burning the flag is disrespectful, and I in no way would participate in any such endeavor.

Now, then... Be that as it may, it is STILL a form of expression, and such expression  protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.  You don't have to like that.  You just have to accept it.

What I find remarkable, however, are those who use this as an example of how Donald doesn't understand the Constitution, yet those same people disagree with the Citizen's United case, which was a case where a person was facing jail time and other punishment for making a MOVIE about Hillary Clinton.

Look, you can't have it both ways.  Either you support freedom of expression (like burning a flag or making a movie), or you don't.

November 26, 2016

A Day Well Spent

On Friday, instead of suffering the masses and hordes of people exhibiting their worst behavior trying to snag a good deal on some trinket or another, I opted out and took to the hills.

My cousin Mel and her husband live here in Fort Collins, we we loaded up their two daughters, the three of us, and five pairs of skis and drove up Poudre Canyon to Cameron Pass.

We set onto the trail on the southern tip of Joe Wright Reservoir and skied up to Zimmerman Lake.

A few minutes of sitting on the shore, looking over the frozen lake and its blanket of snow, then we turned back and skied back down to the car.

Back in town, my Uncle Jan was passing through on his way back to Hood River, Oregon, where he lives.  I offered him the sofa for the night, and he accepted, so we drove up town to Coopersmith's for dinner and a couple beers.  He was duly impressed with the Smoked Salmon and Havarti Dill quesadilla, and I had a serving of Cottage Pie, which is like Shepherd's Pie in a large pastry shell.  It paired perfectly with a pint of Horesetooth Stout, and is highly recommended if you ever get to Fort Collins.

All in all, I got 3 hours of skiing time in the mountains, several hours of time with family, and a damn fine meal.

Oh, and I learned that Fidel Castro is taking the big dirt nap.

Honestly, I don't see how the day could have been any better.

November 21, 2016

Welcome to the Club

To all the people who are afraid of and oppose a "National Registry of Muslims":

NOW do you understand?

Gun Owners

November 16, 2016

Post Election Thoughts

It's been a week since the "sure-fire guarantee can't possibly lose going to make history as the first female President" got her ass beat by Cheetos Jesus. 

In that week, I've seen so many people absolutely lose their shit I could make a solid side business selling compost based solely on what I see on Facebook.  

Sweet shivering Gaia, people, let's get a grip.  

First thing you have to understand is this: All you needed to do was put a candidate up there who had this singular qualification: Not Hillary. 

That's it.  That would have won you the White House.  One simple quality.  But no, your party decided to have some backroom collusion to keep Bernie out and put the most corrupt politician since Tricky Dick on the ballot.  

Predictably, the protesting and riots kicked in almost immediately.  On a related note, have you noticed that the Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock Pipeline protesting has tapered off dramatically?   Pure coincidence, I'm sure.  

But the thing that really needs to be addressed is the attitudes.  I keep hearing or seeing some variation of the following:

"If you voted for Trump, you support racism, misogyny, homophobia, and bigotry." 

To which I reply: Codswallop.  

(Do take note: I didn't vote for Trump.)

But that sentiment above is EXACTLY why DT won... Consider the following passage from this article (which, by and by, is a damn fine read):

Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.
And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.
There's more at the link, as Peter would say.  But it gets right to one of the points of why the Democrats got so soundly beat.  They have spent the better part of 12 or more years calling anyone who disagreed with them as racist, ignorant, backwards, and beneath them.  
Speaking of "uneducated", I once wrote this in reply to a discussion with someone about being an "ignorant redneck":
"I can change the oil and brakes on my car, do repairs to my lawn tractor, fix a leaking sink, remodel a room, grow a garden, field dress a deer, teach a dog to retrieve downed ducks or track a lost child, manage a computer system with 35 servers, 8 switches, and 25 VLANs in 4 different physical locations, query a database to retrieve data, code software, discuss terminal ballistics for about 17 different firearms, teach someone to shoot, tell the difference between Mozart and Beethoven, buy, prepare, and cook my own food, and used to be fairly decent in handling a medical emergency. You have a degree in Gender Studies you got 13 months ago, and you're still unemployed. And you call ME an "Ignorant redneck"?""

There's an excellent article along the same lines here.  Again, recommended reading.

In the end, it seems that the reactions of the Democrats can be summed up thusly: "I don't understand why those stupid, inbred, cousin-humping rednecks in fly-over country didn't vote for our candidate? Are they so ignorant and brainwashed by their fake religions that they don't know that we know what's best for them?"

And they wonder why they lost.  

Let's get some things squared up: There's going to be no repeal of Roe v Wade, no reversal of Obgrefell, nobody is going to lose their civil rights, I'll lay solid money there won't be mass deportation of illegal immigrants, and all the ""ZOMG! Apocalypse" scenarios that the shrieking liberals are screaming about will amount to a great sound and fury, signifying nothing.  

But it's a delicious irony that all of a sudden the politically left are NOW concerned about government taking away their fundamental rights, yet called gun owners "paranoid" for being concerned about the same thing.  

I saw this on the Book of Faces as well, and it sums up my thoughts (forgive the language, I'm quoting directly):

FYI, Trump is not going to make burning the flag illegal, and if he does, I'll burn one every fucking day until the law is repealed or I fucking die.
Good fucking God people.
Principles are more important than trinkets and symbols. Fucking hell.

I predict that 4 years from now, none of the predictions that the left is claiming will have come true.

One last word: GOP, you won.  You have the President, the House, and the Senate.  This is your chance to make real, palpable, positive change.  Cut spending, cut the size of the government, keep your religion out of government, stay away from social issues, and expand individual rights (start with national reciprocity for concealed carry).

In short, don't fuck it up. 

If you do, you're out in 4 years.  

November 10, 2016

There's a Lesson to Be Had Here

(Shamelessly stolen from the Lonely Libertarian...)


OK, so someone please do me a favor and tell me if you can get to Old NFO's blog -- "Nobody Asked Me" in the right sidebar.

Every time I try to click on it, or even manually type it into my browser, I get a cached version and a message about the website being off line.

Am I the only one?  I've flushed my DNS cache, cleared temp files, rebooted, etc. etc. etc.

So, let me know if you can or cannot.

November 9, 2016

So, Trump

Much angst and hand-wringing and tears -- actual TEARS -- over the results of the Presidential election.

My reaction is mostly "Meh."

We've survived worse than this.

More later, as I have a lot of thoughts in my head that I haven't time to string together into a coherent train of thought... I'm busy trying to figure out why one of my servers rebooted last night when it should not have done so.

November 8, 2016

Well, Here We Go

No matter who wins tonight, it's the American public who will have lost.

Despite that, we shall carry on.  Tomorrow, factory workers will return to their assembly line to make their widgets.  Doctors and nurses will continue to care for the sick and injured.  Bankers will make their loans and investments, railroad engineers will drive their trains, law enforcement officers will patrol their duty areas, IT technicians will fix computer problems, farmers will grow their crops, and life will carry on.

A friend of mine wrote the following on FaceCrackBookSpace, and I think it hits the nail as squarely as a nail can be hit:

An open letter to the leadership of the losing party of the 2016 US Presidential election:
You simple-minded, mouth-breathing, bombastic, power-hungry, amoral morons.
You had a free shot at the presidency this year. The opposing party’s nominee is the most vulnerable, least qualified nominee possible from their entire proverbial bench. Virtually any other state- or national-level candidate from your ranks could have won the presidency for you in a landslide. All that potential candidate would have to do was keep breathing and not say anything astonishingly stupid, and he/she would have run away with this election. The country cried out for a suitable alternative. But for some reason, you stood by your utterly flawed candidate, and now you've reaped the whirlwind.
Normally, I wouldn’t care about your abject stupidity, except that you’ve stuck the rest of us (and the entire world, really) with the opposing candidate. The best possible ‘spin’ is that the victorious candidate is merely the second-worst candidate our system had to offer America this year. But the President-elect will preside over a country so strongly divided that the fissures likely won’t be repaired in the next four years, despite whatever efforts that president-elect makes. Which, of course, assumes that any such efforts occur…given the abhorrent past behavior of said President-elect, such efforts are highly unlikely.
With luck, our new president eventually will be recognized as utterly inadequate to the task and won’t stand for re-election in 2020. (With even more luck, that recognition will occur earlier and the president will be replaced by the vice president; either vice presidential candidate would be a better president than either presidential candidate.) Regardless, we the people must do a better job with candidate selection in the hope that things will be different (and much, much better) in four years when we have to repeat this foolishness.
Until then, thanks for nothing.

I hope like hell that after this is over, we all take a moment to stop, breathe, find a bit of introspection, and remember to be kind to one another.  The bitterness and anger and division we've seen the past 18 months or so has to end.

This is America.  We're better than this.

November 3, 2016

108 Years

The Cubs won the World Series, and in right dramatic fashion at that.

I spent my first 6 years of life on the south side of the Chicago metro area, and Grandpa was a White Sox fan through and through.  In a box somewhere, I've got an Alan Bannister autographed baseball, and I remember watching ball games at Comiskey Park, before it was leveled and replaced.

Despite that, I was cheering for the Cubs to win this.  108 years is a long time, after all.

Consider: The last time the Cubs won a World Series title, the 1911 pistol had yet to be created, the Ford Model T was 2 weeks old, people learned of the results via newspaper, as commercial radio didn't exist, and New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii had not yet achieved statehood.

A friend of mine was fortunate enough to attend Game 5, and he spoke of the class and grace of a Cleveland fan sitting nearby.  I like to think that fans of teams can accept defeat with dignity and victory with humility.  Certainly our country needs more of that.

Congrats, Cubs.  You are on top of the baseball world.  Let that W flag fly.

(In no small measure of irony, the first game of spring training for the Cleveland Indians is...

... against the Cubs.)

October 31, 2016

Settling In

Been just over a month now since I moved back to Colorado, and things are starting to settle down a fair bit.

Moved into my new apartment, and I've got most of my stuff out of boxes and put away.  Still have a few boxes, mostly books, that are waiting for me to tend to.  I'll be purchasing some furniture this weekend, including a bookshelf, and then I'll have those taken care of as well.  Got address changes made, should be able to close my PO box come the first of December.  Food, household stuff, etc., is also take care of.  Starting to feel like a real home, not just a pile of clutter under a roof.

New job is going well.  There are several things that we do here that I'd like to see done differently, if for no other reason than to improve efficiency.  For example, every single client has a dozen or more different passwords to access their equipment, where I'd simplify things and make the passwords more consistent and similar... I shouldn't need to look up a different password for logging into a server vs. logging into a PC.  I'm sure they set it up this way for a reason, I just can't imagine what that reason might be.  At any rate, I seem to spend more time looking up passwords, IP addresses, and so forth than I do actually fixing problems.  That strikes me as inefficient.

Found myself a nice little pub where the food is solid, the beer selection is plentiful (even though I usually stick to the same style, Pale Ale, I do like having some choices), and the staff friendly.  Added bonus: It's walking distance to my place.  I don't go out often, as I'm really trying to rein in the spending a bit.  But for those times when I do want to go out -- for instance, to watch a ball game or such -- it's nice.  

The dogs have dealt with the stress of moving fairly well.  When I first moved here, I was staying with a friend and his wife, while the dogs stayed with a couple that another friend of mine knows.  Carl and his wife were wonderful, taking Casey and Jake in, giving them a place to stay and being uber cheap on me in the process... I bought them a couple nice sirloin steaks and a bottle of wine... and the dogs got used to having someone around most of the day.  When I collected them and moved them into the apartment and was going to work daily, Jake had some separation issues and was taking a dump in the apartment, despite long walks in the morning before I left.  That has since resolved, thankfully, and I'm close enough to work that I can walk home during lunch, let them out to potty, and walk back to work (5 minutes on foot, door to door).

I caught up with an old climbing buddy of mine this past weekend, we took some guns out to the range to stretch the legs.  The Marlin .22LR repairs are complete, so I wanted to check function and the zero.  I'm happy to report that it didn't take much to get it back on the bull... A few rounds, dial the scope a few clicks, couple more rounds, couple more clicks, and back to being dead-on accurate.  Plugging the bull at 25 yards, consistently (well, as consistently as I can be, anyway), and functioning normally.  Prairie dogs will fall to this rifle, that I can promise.

Pistol work still needs improvement.  I think maybe I'll find a local instructor, someone who can tell me what the hell I'm doing to cause the high-left issue.  It's just so damn consistent... 50 rounds, one big hole... and all in the 8-9 ring at 11 o'clock.  I'm stumped.  Oh, also going to get a membership at an indoor range not far from here, start shooting at least 3 or 4 days a week, instead of 3 or 4 days a month.

Lastly, the election this year still sucks.  It's a bit like trying to decide which sexually transmitted disease you want, syphilis or gonorrhea.  Me, I'm going to cast for Governor Gary Johnson.  Yes, there are things he supports that I do not, but he is, in my view, the best option.  It would be nice if he manages to get enough electoral college votes to deny both Trump and HilLIARy the nomination.  And spare me the "A vote for Johnson is a vote for Hillary" shtick.

That is all.  Carry on.

October 20, 2016

Part of the Problem

I saw something on Facebook this morning from a friend of mine, posted during last night's debate, that, in my view, is a perfect representation of how we've gotten to where we are as a nation:

"OK, so what is this guy going to do for me, an African-American male?"

Now, let's set some background: My friend is, obviously, African-American.  He's also gay, and prefers living in a large city (Atlanta), and younger than I am (he's in his early 30's).

Now, of course he's rightly concerned about his well-being and his personal future, and I don't begrudge him that, but his comment speaks to the division and schism between parts of society that has so polarized our country of late.

Note there's no mention of "What's he going to do for US, the nation's citizens?" in the comment.  I noticed the lack of cohesiveness.  The lack of unity.  We're no longer considering the people as a whole, but rather a collection of factions that must be clearly delineated into their unique partitions.

I also noticed that there's no mention of self-reliance, but rather what appears to be an expectation that someone else is going to do things for me.  "What is HE going to do FOR ME?"

In the end, I guess I'd prefer something along the lines of:
"How is this guy going to get the obstacles and impediments to people living a free and prosperous life out of our way?"

That, IMHO, would be a better attitude for all of us to have.