May 21, 2018

Helping One Of Our Own

She might fuss at me for this, but I can live with it...

Tam over at View From The Porch managed to bungle up her collar bone over the weekend, and has one arm in a sling, waiting on the fracture to heal. 

This injury will be problematic for her: Hard to run a slide on a semi-auto pistol with one hand, can't do any rifle shooting, and shotgunning is right out.  That makes it difficult to make a living when one's income is based on shooting and writing about shooting firearms.

If you could, swing by her place and hit up the tip jar, throw a couple coins her way to help her through the next few weeks.

May 16, 2018

Florida Coward Set For Life

Remember that cowardly sheriff's deputy in Parkland, Florida, who failed to engage the shitbag that shot up the school?

He's going to collect over $100k/year in pension.

Peterson, who retired in the weeks after the March shooting, is due to collect $8,700 per month. That works out to slightly more than $104,000 a year. Peterson, who is 55 years old, will be able to receive that pension for the rest of his life, and Broward County taxpayers will cover 50 percent of his health insurance premiums.


May 10, 2018


My local paper has an Op-Ed piece on their website, which you can read here.

Short version: Ban "assault guns" and blah blah blah.

I replied:

Truly impressive. I've not seen so many factual, logical, and rhetorical errors in one piece as I have in this:

"Hear them say, for instance, that the “AR” in AR-15 is misrepresented as standing for “assault rifle” when in fact the “A” stands for “ArmaLite,” after the arms maker."

That the AR stands for Armalite Rifle is a verifiable fact. When one wishes to enact a ban on what a free citizen can do, perhaps being factually accurate is a good place to start?

"An assault rifle is what we decide it is."

Well, so much for basing decisions on facts.

"Klarevas writes that while the law was in place, the number of mass murders (six or more dead) dropped a “staggering” 37 percent."

And yet the FBI and Department of Justice determined that it had no statistically significant impact on total firearm deaths during the 1994 AWB:

Further, if you bother to read Klarevas' study, you'd know that Klarevas concedes in a footnote that of the 12 shootings in his dataset, only three actually involved assault weapons. But again, we're talking facts. It would appear those are not important here.

"The NRA opposes gun control? Why did it not allow guns into the auditorium in Dallas the other day when Donald Trump pandered to the (defenseless) crowd?"

That decision was made by the United States Secret Service, not the NRA. Carrying of firearms was permitted in all other areas at all other times. You'd know this if you had bothered to check some basic facts, or talk to anyone who has attended an NRA meeting.

"You may say people are certain to violate this law (buying their weapons outside Boulder), and that will apply to bad guys.

Yes, and the same could apply to speed limits, laws against rape, bribery and anything else."

Using your (poor) analogy: The town speed limit is 45 mph. Some reckless kids come tearing through at 90. Your solution is to lower the speed limit to 35.


"So let’s not have any laws?"

A first year law student can explain the difference between Malum in se and Malum prohibitum. Things like rape, bribery, etc are In Se laws, because the very nature of the act is abhorrent to the general nature of man. Your desire to ban the possession of a thing just because you don't like it is an example of Malum prohibitum. You want to control people, not allow them to live free. You want to make the mere possession of an object against the law. Didn't we try that with alcohol? Didn't we try that with marijuana? Haven't we learned our lesson?

Some of us have.

"The gun lobby shouldn’t write out gun laws. We should."

You're OK with us doing that to the press too, right? Letting we, the people, decide what is and what is not journalism?

You, sir, should be ashamed to have put your name to this.

I'm done with the Coloradoan.  Subscription canceled.  

April 24, 2018

Weekend Mini Family Reunion

A few months ago, my mother decided to come visit me here in Colorado, and booked her airfare.  I took Thursday, Friday, and yesterday off work, and we figured we'd just tool around FoCo, maybe take a drive in the mountains, and generally enjoy a few days together. 

Well, she talked to her brother, my uncle Kenny, and made mention of her trip.  Uncle Ken's oldest daughter, my cousin Melanie, lives here in town with her husband and their two children, and Kenny told Mom that he and Aunt Sara might just drive up to visit while Mom was here.

Then Kenny talked with his brother, my Uncle Ray, and made mention of it as well.  Ray decided that he and his wife, Aunt Marie, would drive out from Omaha as well.

So Mom got to town on Thursday.  We grabbed a quick bite of lunch, and set up base camp in my apartment.  After a few hours of napping, I made a light dinner, and we loafed at my place that night, turning in early.  Friday found Mom and I shopping in Old Town Fort Collins, where she grabbed a few souvenirs, we had lunch, and then met up with Kenny and Sara and Ray and Marie at their hotel.  To our surprise, Aunt Deb, who also lives in Omaha, came along with Ray and Marie, so Mom got to see two of her brothers, two sisters-in-law, and her youngest sister, as well as seeing me.  It was a little mini-family reunion, and rather pleasant.  We grabbed dinner at a local tavern, played some cards back at the hotel, and called it a night. 

Saturday found us at cousin Mel's place, where we consumed a fair bit of beer, a veggie tray and a bag of chips with salsa, and then Mel brought out a roasted pork loin with fennel and olives and assorted side dishes.  A feast for royalty, it was.

On Sunday, the weather that had been mostly cloudy and a bit of drizzle finally cleared out, so Ray, Marie, Kenny, Deb, Mom, and I piled into Kenny's SUV and took a drive up into the hills.  They haven't seen much of the Colorado mountains, so I took them up Poudre Canyon along Highway 14, then down Stove Prairie Road to Rist Canyon Road, back into Fort Collins.  It's a nice drive, plenty of scenery, and they were glad to have a "local" do the driving so they could rubber-neck and take in the sights. 

Sunday dinner was a couple of pizzas at Mel's, then back to the hotel for a few more rounds of cards and general chattering on, like they do.  After some hugs and farewells, most everyone retired for the night. 

Monday, Mom and I had a final breakfast with Ken and Sara, then they hit the road south to Albuquerque, while Ray and Marie and Deb had already cut out for Omaha by 0730.  I took Mom to DEN so she could make her 1600 flight, and now it's back to the grind. 

A very enjoyable weekend indeed.

April 16, 2018

April 4, 2018

Spicy Ranch Chicken and Rice

I've written many times here about cooking for one, and making meals at home to save money.  Threw this one together last week, and it turned out pretty solid.  Thought I'd share here.

* Three boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  You can use chicken thighs, if you wish.
* One chicken bouillon cube.
* A packet of dry Spicy Ranch Dressing mixture.
* 1 cup rice.
* 2 cups water.
* Shredded Colby Jack cheese.  Pepper Jack cheese would be a nice substitution, but I didn't have any.
* Can of Rotel.

Thaw the chicken if it's frozen, and put it in the crock pot with the bouillon cube, the Rotel, and water.  Cook on low heat until done, typically 4 hours or so.

Remove the chicken, shred it pretty well, then return to the crock.  Add the spicy ranch mix, and stir well.

Add the rice, and crank the crock pot heat to High.  Cover and let the rice cook, about 30-40 minutes.

Throw a goodly handful of the cheese, about a cup or so, and stir to mix, then turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

It's a nice, hearty meal, and didn't cost much at all.  The chicken was the most expensive part, and the rest of the items came from normal pantry stocks.

You could, if you wanted to, put the resulting mixture into a tortilla, roll into a burrito, and top with green chile sauce (like this, for example).  That might be too many carbs if you're mindful of such things, but it'd be a damn fine chicken burrito.

Bon Appetite.

April 2, 2018

Gonna Sell Them...

... The dogs, that is.  Going to sell them to the House of Hunan Chinese restaurant down the street.

Two weeks ago today, I went home for lunch as I often do, and found the dogs had managed to knock my 48 inch flat screen television off the entertainment center, busting the screen.

Now I have to be honest: That TV didn't cost me more than a red cent or three.  I "bought" it back in, oh, 2010 or so, and "paid" for it by cashing in 150,000 frequent flier points, which was about half what I earned each year during my "I travel for business every week" job.  So, the airline points and a few bucks in taxes got the television delivered to my front door. 

And it was a good television.  Nice picture, sound, etc.  It followed me to Indiana and back to Colorado, and served me well.  8 years, no problems, essentially free.  I really can't complain. 

At any rate, two weeks ago, something got into the dogs, and the television ended up busted.  Frustrating, but so be it. 

A quick check around the interwebz and I located a 43 inch Visio television with "free in-store pickup today!" at the Walmart down the street.  Fine, that will work.  Here's the credit card info, I'll be by at 5 pm or so. 

And that TV has been fantastic.  It's much lighter than my old one was (8 years of technological advancement will do that, see), and has a brighter, crisper picture.

Well, it did.  Until today.  When the dogs knocked THAT one over as well. 

So I moved some money from savings, bought my second television in two weeks.  This time, however, I'm mounting it on the wall.  

And the dogs?  They're getting sold off to help defray the costs. 

March 23, 2018

She's Back!

Brigid is back up and blogging again at Home On the Range.

She writes good stuff.  You should be reading her words.

March 12, 2018

Had To

I've been trying to stay away from any online debates or discussions about firearms, gun control, etc. simply because I'm tired.

Intuitively, I know that nobody is going to change anyone's mind, and the two camps couldn't be further apart on the issue.

But today I saw a comment that was just begging to be replied to, so I did.

As usual, it was a rehash of the same tripe we always hear about the AR-15 platform, and included the "these are guns used in warfare, and shouldn't be available to non-soldiers".

So, I replied:

"What common characteristic do my Remington 700 bolt action rifle, my Mossberg 590 12G pump shotgun, and my 1911 .45ACP pistol share that my AR-15 does not?"

When (if?) she replies, I'll inform her:

"The first three are all, or have been,  used by our US Military in time of warfare.  The latter never has been, and never will be."

February 27, 2018

Still Got The Skills

One of the perks of living as close to my office as I do is that I can walk home for lunch, eat something from the fridge, and walk back to the office and still be under the hour duration of lunch break.

Today, I was headed back to the office when I came upon a lady, probably in her 60's or so, who was walking her dog.  Dog was a puppy of some mixed breed, and quite rambunctious as puppies are wont to be.

At any rate, the dog saw me, and excitedly lunged, pulling the lady off balance.  I tried to grab her as she fell, but she still managed to whack her forehead on the sidewalk fairly solid.

Her forehead was lacerated, nice sized gash that needs stitches, and was bleeding fairly well, as head injuries do.  I grabbed some gauze from my IFAK (you DO have an Individual First Aid Kit that you carry on your person, right?  RIGHT?) and put pressure on the wound.  Helped her gently to her feet, and took control of the dog by taking the leash.  I offered to call her an ambulance, but she declined, and a quick down and dirty neuro exam revealed no deficits. 

I walked her to her car, grabbed some facial tissues she had handy, and added them to the gauze.  The bleeding was stemmed with the direct pressure, so I wasn't terribly worried.  Normal pulse and skin color, etc.  Just a significant gash to her head. 

I pointed her to the nearest Urgent Care clinic, gave her my business card that has my cell phone number on it, and offered to train her dog for her. 

It's been 10 years since I worked on an ambulance, but it's nice to know I still have those old paramedic skills when I need them.