February 15, 2018

Five Easy Steps

Over on the Book of Faces, an associate of an associate of mine is making the usual arguments for banning guns in the wake of yesterday's tragedy in Florida.

His comment:
"Jeff, what we should do is repeal the Second Amendment, have a mandatory buy back of most guns, outlaw the sale of most guns, and develop an import inspection program that would keep most guns out of our country."

I slept on it, because I'd had a couple beers last night and I know better than to get into internet discussions after drinking.  This morning, I wrote my reply:

OK. That's simple. Five easy steps:
First, get 2/3 of both houses of Congress to pass a bill that proposes repealing the 2nd Amendment.  Have the President sign it.   
At this point, you haven't done anything to reduce gun violence. 
Next, get 3/4 of the states to ratify the amendment. 
Still haven't done anything to reduce gun violence.  
Third, get another bill passed that makes possession of any firearm a federal offense. 
Still haven't done anything to reduce gun violence. 
Fourth, call for citizens to turn in any gun they own. 
Still haven't done anything to reduce gun violence.
Finally, mobilize the FBI, BATFE, state and local police agencies, and every other law enforcement office you can find (some of whom are pro-2A/civilian gun ownership) -- those law enforcement agencies that are well known for their restraint and professionalism in the face of violence (/sarcasm) -- and have them go door to door all across America, every house and apartment, searching for firearms.  You'll have to go to the homes of some 80+ million gun owners, searching for and seizing all firearms.  Ignore that pesky 4th Amendment while you're at it.  It's for the children, right? 
A great number of those 80+ million will refuse to comply, and you'll have to use force to get them to comply. Force that will, undoubtedly, turn deadly. The results will be bloodshed on a level this country has never seen before. Cops and citizens alike will be killed, all in the name of your objective. 
That's all you have to do.

I've yet to hear a reply. 

February 5, 2018

Today is a Good Day

Woke up this morning and just to make sure I wasn't dreaming, I checked the local news station app on my phone...

Yep, Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Eagles and their backup QB.

Today's gonna be a good day.

January 31, 2018


Ya gotta hand it to 'em: Putting a Kennedy politician in front of a camera to bemoan a "system that is rigged towards those at the top" was a pretty bold move.

Took stones, that.

January 25, 2018

Southwestern Chicken Noodle Casserole

This time of year brings cooler weather, obviously, and thus the desire for warm, hearty, comfortable food.  Having a few different items in the fridge/freezer to quickly heat makes dinner time easy, and variety is the spice of life, after all.

Earlier this week, I put the following together, and it turned out pretty decent, actually.

Southwestern Chicken and Noodle Casserole

Get a couple chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) and plop them into the crock pot with some water and a bouillon cube or some chicken stock.  I started with frozen breasts and left the crock in the fridge overnight, to buy myself some extra cooking time.  

Turn the crock pot to low heat, and let the chicken cook for a few hours until cooked through and easily shredded with a fork.  

Remove the meat, and reserve a bit of the liquid (save the rest to pour over the dog's kibble... dry kibble tastes bland).  Chop or shred the chicken, and return it to the crock.  

Add in a can of Cream of Chicken Soup, about 4 ounces of shredded "taco cheese", and half a jar, more or less (more), of 505 Southwestern Green Chile salsa.  Stir well, and put back on low heat until warmed through.

Meanwhile, cook a big pot of egg noodles until _just_ tender.  Do NOT overcook the noodles.  Drain the noodles well. 

Mix the noodles in with the chicken and salsa/soup mix, and enjoy.  

This freezes well in plastic "Tupperware" type containers.  


January 23, 2018

Cast Iron

Weer'd has a post up on his site about a company making Cast Iron cookware the old fashioned way.

I've got my cast iron, which I use frequently, and can't justify the expense of one of these new skillets, but if you're in the market and of a means to drop solid coin on solid cookware, give it a look.

January 22, 2018

Glad That Wasn't Worse

Worked rather late into the evening on Thursday, and woke up Friday feeling a bit sick.

Nothing horrible, just a mild fever and a cough, bit of body aches, but decided to exercise a bit of caution and I took the day off work.  If it wasn't anything, then so be it, but if I was actually coming down with an illness, I certainly didn't want to risk spreading it around the office.

Spent most of Friday and Saturday holed up.  LOTS of fluids, a few naps, and orange juice and chicken soup by the gallon.

Feeling normal now, and I think maybe I dodged a bullet.  Probably just a bit of a cold, but certainly not the flu that's causing a lot of folks a lot of frustration.

There's something to be said for living alone and not being a very social person: I don't interact with many people, which means the risk of catching whatever illness they might have is mitigated to a large degree.

January 12, 2018

Trump, S**thole Countries, and Propriety

Let's dispense with the obvious:

First, calling other countries "shithole" countries was a stupid thing to say.

Second, many of them are, in point of fact, shitholes.  Why else would people want to leave there? 

That said...

I'm given to understand that people who walk around in vagina costumes are offended by President Trump's vulgarity?

That's righteous irony.

January 10, 2018

The Proverbial One Legged Man

Things are hopping at the moment, and I'm struggling to keep up with it all:

Last weekend (5-7 Jan) I flew out to Washington-Dulles and met up with a couple friends as we all attended a memorial service for a mutual friend.  While the occasion was somber, it was nice to spend time with my friends.  We're all scattered hither and yon, and it's the rare moment we get to see each other. 

Got back to the office on Monday, and things are getting crazy busy at work.  Got new customers coming in faster than we can handle them all, and I've been logging some serious hours... Putting 10 billable hours in a day for two straight now, and no signs of it slowing down for at least a month.

Add in all the new customer work, on top of the existing customers that always seem to have break-fix issues, and it's a madhouse. 

On a positive note, the problem customers are slowly getting weeded out, and the customers we do have are the "right kind" -- people who don't try to do stupid stuff with their computers like install "free software I found on a website" or forget their Windows password every Monday morning.  Rather, we've got folks who know how to use a business computer to do business stuff, folks who understand that not every single oddity is an emergency that must be fixed NOW, and so forth.

Still and all, I feel like that one legged man in a butt kicking contest.

January 2, 2018

What's the Damn Point of Having It?

So over the past couple weeks, my right shoulder has been aching and bothering me a fair bit.  It's at the point where I'm popping ibuprofen on a consistent basis, and it has been known to wake me at night if I roll over wrong or get all contorted. 

So this morning, I log in to my health insurance website and start looking around.  I don't need a referral to see a specialist, so I begin by looking for an orthopedist. 

Mind you, this is the insurance for which I've paid a couple hundred dollars every month for the past year and a half or so.  And have never once used. 


Every orthopedist in a 25 mile radius from my apartment?  Insurance will pay $0.00. 


At all. 

To go in and have a shoulder specialist look at my shoulder will cost me $350 out of pocket. 

Then he or she will want an X-ray of MRI of the shoulder to rule in or out things like acromioclavicular joint separation, rotator cuff tears, and so forth.  That's going to end up coming out of pocket as well. 

Let's assume I'm paying $150/paycheck towards health insurance.  That's $3900 a year.  And that does not count what my employer puts into it. 

So, I'm out $3,900 a year, then have to meet a $2,500 deductible before the insurance company kicks in anything.  Up to $6,400. 

Finally, I have an out of pocket maximum for the year of $5,000.... So, including cost of insurance every month, I could spend just shy of $9,000 a year.

What's the damn point of health insurance again?  I'd wager I can spend less than $9,000 and get the care I need...