August 23, 2016

Divorce Survival Guide

Well, now that it is official (judge signed off on the divorce papers yesterday), I'm once again a single man.

For those who have never been through a divorce, permit me, if I may, to offer a few suggestions:

First, you need to have prepared in advance for this possibility.  That's not saying that it WILL happen, but it MIGHT, and you won't believe how much it will hit like a ton of bricks.  You won't be able to think straight, so a little pre-planning will save you a bunch of headache.  Get yourself a stash of cash, and have it somewhere you can get to it, but she can't.  Safe deposit box, something like that.  Have $2500 or more if at all possible.  Consider opening a credit card and never use it, just to have that extra spending cushion.  You're going to need to spend money on a bunch of stuff you didn't expect, the least of which is finding a place to live and turning on the electricity and getting a bed to sleep.

I got a one room studio apartment, and spent over $600 to move in -- granted, I have the dogs, so that's an additional move in expense -- and another $100 to turn on internet access and electricity.  Two weeks later was the first of the month, and rent was due.  Another $650 needed.  So now I've got an apartment, but I need to buy a shower curtain, a bath towel, a little 4 cup coffee maker, some plates and utensils to eat, cookware, etc.  You might require a storage unit for some of your things, as I did.  Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the cost of the lawyer, which was $1000 up front as a retainer.  I'll get some of that back, but still and all, we're talking $2000+ in the span of a couple weeks.

Speaking of lawyers, you need one.  There's no way around this, you need a lawyer to protect your legal rights and interests.  Speak to your lawyer, be ABSOLUTELY honest, tell them everything.  They can't help you if they don't know the facts.  Once you have a lawyer on retainer, you let them do the talking to opposing counsel.  That's what you're paying for.

When you go to your previous home to collect your personal things (assuming that your wife gets to stay in the house and you had to leave), you WILL take a uniformed, on-duty, police officer with you.  This is why you pay taxes... Get the cop to be there with you, and ask him or her to turn on their body camera if so equipped.  Tell them you just want to get your personal belongings and leave and don't want any trouble.  The officer should communicate that to your spouse.  You will say nothing.  Go in, get your stuff, get out.  Keep your mouth shut other than to say "Thank you for allowing me to collect my belongings."

Speaking of keeping your mouth shut, keep this issue OFF of your social media platforms other than a short, respectful, "My spouse and I are parting ways.  I would thank you for respecting our privacy during this time."  NOTHING MORE.  Any derogatory remarks you make on Facebook, blogs, websites, etc., CAN and WILL be found by opposing counsel if they try hard enough.  I don't care what your "privacy" settings are, they can be found.  So don't do it.

Other things to not do: Don't get in any trouble with the law during the proceedings.  Watch your speed when driving, don't drive even if you've had just one beer, don't give the police any reason at all to issue you a citation.  You need to be a pillar of lawful behavior.

If you have children, the only thing I can say is "Do not ever bad-mouth your spouse in front of them during the proceedings."  Fortunately, mine and I don't have kids together, but I am the child of divorced parents, and lo some 38 years later I can still hear my biological dad and the insulting things he used to say about my mother when I was around.  Might be why I severed all ties to him when I graduated high school.

Lastly, mind your health.  This sucks, no two ways about it, but it does get better.  You should cut back on the booze and be sure to eat properly.  Get some exercise.  Go to the range for recoil therapy.  Take in a movie.  Take the dog to those woods out yonder, let 'em chase rabbits while you walk under the treetop canopy, and just listen to the birds, breathe in the air.  Visit family and friends in the area if you have any.  Cry if you want, it's certainly normal.  But whatever you do, take care of yourself.  Get through today.  Then get some sleep, wake up tomorrow, and get through that day.

In the end, there are really only three words you need to know:


(P.S., L, if you read this, I will always love you.  I'm sorry it turned out like this.)

August 22, 2016

Getting Replies

Sending out a LOT of resumes, and getting quite a few replies.  This is positive news, I think.

Have a phone interview this afternoon, another tomorrow, and applied for 10 more positions already today.

August 19, 2016

That Was Quick

Started sending out resumes for my move back to Colorado, and I've had three hits on five resumes since 0900.


August 17, 2016

Adding to the Blogroll

I should have done this a while ago, just never got around to it.

Added The Lonely Libertarian to the Worthy Reading list.

Y'all go check it out for some good laughs and good reading.

August 13, 2016

Can We Stop Doing These Things?

An open letter to gun owners and firearms enthusiasts everywhere:

I've been a gun owner and 2A advocate for a few years now.  The libertarian in me applauds and supports the individual rights, and as long as you're not hurting anyone else, I'm in favor of you doing whatever the hell you want.

But look, we've got an image issue.  The anti-2A folks are trying to paint us as wanna-be Rambo types who are sexist, racist, and xenophobic, living in our fantasy world and out of grip with reality.

We know that's not the case, but we're certainly not helping when we do the following:

1. Putting a "tactical" adjective or adverb on every damn thing.  What the hell is so "tactical" about a flashlight?  Or an ink pen?  Or a backpack?  Or any of the myriad of other things that have the label "tactical" assigned to them?  Look, it's a damn INK PEN.  That's it.  You're never going to use it for anything else other than writing.  Putting "tactical" in front of everything feeds the leftist narrative that we're looking for a chance to use our tactical skills and tactical gear when we tactically engage and show superior tactical decision making as tactical operators.  Instead of saying "Oh, that's my tactical ink pen that can be used as a defensive weapon", why not just "It's an ink pen"?

2. Trying to market to female shooters by simply slapping a pink color scheme on things.  Yes, some women will prefer to have pink or other brightly colored items (purse, range bag, holster, gun, whatever), but there are plenty out there who don't give a damn about color and just want a functional gun that fits and is reliable.  Kathy Jackson, over at The Cornered Cat (and you are reading her stuff, right?  You should be...) has written extensively about women and guns, and I can't add to anything she's said, but we've got to stop treating women like they are delicate flowers and can't make their own decisions about guns.  If a woman wants to own a gun or a gun accessory, let HER pick it.  Don't assume she's going to get excited because you put a Coach handbag pattern on your Kydex holster.

3. Speaking of women, I will be the first to admit that I admire an attractive female form as much as anyone.  But please stop with the "Hot babe in a bikini holding a gun and posing like she's shooting" photos like this:

This picture is f--king stupid.  

First, nobody in their right mind would shoot an AR while wearing a bikini.  Hot brass to the cleavage isn't pleasant, from what I understand.  Second, let's examine the message: "Here's a photo we like because it shows a lot of skin."  Is THAT the message we want to send?  Or would we be better off showing a woman with serious skills on the gun, even if she doesn't resemble an NFL cheerleader or Victoria Secret model?  Want to know what I find really attractive in female shooters?

That's Tori Nonaka, member of Team Glock, competing and doing well.  That's what we need to be doing to promote women as shooters, ourselves as inclusive of both men and women, and the message here is far better: "Here's a video we like because it shows a great deal of skill and ability..."

4. Let's also stop labeling everyone who doesn't agree with us 100% as dumb, anti-American, communist, or any other derogatory term.  Let's listen to understand, let's listen to learn their view, and let's be the denizens of the moral high ground.  I've some rather liberal friends who, at one point, were 100% against guns.  They had bought into the rabid anti-gun sentiment, and didn't understand my view.  I sat down, politely and calmly listened to what they were saying, we had a nice rational discussion, and I asked them, simply, "Let me take you to the range one time.  I'll buy everything, provide all the stuff needed, and you just bring an open mind."  A few of them converted their views somewhat (not a full 180, but I'll take the small steps over none), some didn't, but the point is that by not calling them Communists, I managed to get them to consider my views.  When we refuse to consider theirs, we're being quite selfish.  We don't have to give up our views to understand theirs.

Can we stop doing these things?  For the sake of our image as responsible shooters and gun owners, let's change the message: "We are people who enjoy the shooting sports, carry pistols for our own protection, let women make their own decisions about what to purchase, promote and applaud skillful shooting wherever we might find it, and are willing to sit and have open and honest conversations with people who might not share our views."

August 6, 2016

Making the Pew Pew Sounds

It's been a few weeks of really hot (90's) and really humid (70's) and really oppressive and downright yucky here in East Central Indiana.

Today we got a bit of a respite from that, and the current temp of 81 and the 46% humidity means I can go shooting without needing to wipe the sweat off my hands after every three or four shots.

And besides, I needed the distraction.  The past few weeks have been nothing but work>Cisco training videos>Sleep>Work>Cisco videos>Sleep, etc.

I'd recently replaced the sights on the Glock at Tam's suggestion with a set of AmeriGlo CAP sights.  It's remarkable how much easier it is to get them lined up correctly.

Grabbed the range bag (which includes my small emergency GSW treatment kit of gauze, a tourniquet, gloves, and such -- you do have one in your range bag too, right?  RIGHT?) and the G19 and a hundred rounds of FMJ ammo.

The results are in the photo below.  Most of the fliers, especially the more egregious ones out there in the 6 ring, were at the end, when my hands and arms were getting tired.  A few were during the middle, and I think I was just not focusing on mechanics as much as I should have, since I was trying to get the "obtain the sight picture" thing down with the new sights.

Still and all, I'll take it.  The results are within "Minute of Goblin", which is the ultimate goal, I suppose.

August 5, 2016

Well, That's That

Signed the divorce papers yesterday.  They're with her lawyer now, then once she signs, they go to the judge, who will rubber-stamp his approval.

Time to start looking for a job out in Colorado.  There's nothing left for me here.

July 25, 2016

Chutzpah, Defined

The campaign manager for Hillary Clinton is claiming the Russians are behind the Wikileaks dump of all the DNC emails.

But not long ago, we were told that the Russians couldn't possibly have obtained anything from her private email server.

Think that over.  Take as long as you need.

July 23, 2016

Did Trump Just Make a Principled Stand for Free Speech?

So, it dawned on me the other day, thinking about the whole Ted Cruz Not Endorsing the Donald at the RNC Thing...

Did Donald Trump make a solid case that he supports free speech, even if he doesn't like it?

Think about it... He knew Cruz wasn't going to toe the party line with his speech... And yet Trump let Cruz get up there and speak anyway.

There's something to be said for that, I think.

I'm still not voting for Trump, but on this issue, I think he was right on the mark.

July 15, 2016

That Was A Good Trip

Monday morning, ran a few errands then headed up north to visit with my Mother.  We had a couple nice steaks on the grill, sat and talked about everything under the sun, and eventually met my cousin Jeff at the local watering hole for a pint or two.

On Tuesday, Mom and I walked around the downtown area, where they have this neat metal sculpture exhibit... Local artists create whatever they want to create, as long as it is 100% made of metals.  The sculptures are displayed in the downtown area, and we went walking from one to the other.  Pretty neat way to spend a couple hours.

Tuesday eve, Cousin Jeff and I started north towards Traverse City, Michigan.  We spent the night in Cadillac, Michigan, simply because the hotel there was about 60% cheaper than one in Traverse City.  And I'm a cheap bastard.

Wednesday morning, we got up to TC for the Paddle for Pints kayaking brewery tour.  This is a VERY neat event... You buy your ticket (and either bring your own kayak or rent one) and as a large group start paddling from one brewery to the next.

I created a simple Google Map that you can (hopefully) view by clicking here.  We started at the Filling Station,  It's the one on the north side of the lake in the middle.  I had a Cycle Club Pale Ale, which was nice and crisp, but slightly flat.

At noon, everyone (all eighty-some) of us launched our kayaks and paddled across the lake to Right Brain Brewery (the one on the west bank of the lake).  These guys are making some seriously creative beers... I had a Fire Starter, which is a Chipotle pepper flavored porter.  The first sip was full and robust, then finishes with a nice heat of that Chipotle pepper.  After the third sip or so, the heat was softening and the rest of the beer was pleasant.  Cuz had a Spear Beer, which is made with asparagus.  Rather different.  I didn't care for it, but he liked it.  There were two ladies that we met and they joined us for drinks and conversations.  One of them had a Cherry Pie Whole, which is a beer that has an entire baked cherry pie added to the primary fermentation vessel (Traverse City is famous for their cherry trees, and has a huge cherry festival every year.)  So, yes, they add a cherry pie, crust and all, to the beer as it ferments.  GREAT beer.  I also had one of their Concrete Dinosaur Rye IPAs.  Yummy.

After about an hour, it was back to the boats.  We paddled north, into the mouth of the Boardman River, and stopped at the dam between Cass Street and Union Street.  A short 3 block walk brought us to Rare Bird Brewpub, where I had a Hopricot, which is a mildly hoppy apricot infused ale.  We also decided some food was in order, so we grabbed a couple appetizer plates.  A meat and cheese plate, some Sriracha Deviled Eggs, and an order of tacos.  After the Hopricot, I had a pint of Show Me What You're Working Wit, a wheat beer that has a hint of tangerine and grapefruit.  Think Blue Moon on Steroids.

The final push was out of the river into the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay, over to Clinch Park, where we dropped off our kayaks with the P4P crew, then walked a few more blocks to The Workshop Brewing Company.  We grabbed a few last pints, including the Ball Peen ESB and a Twenty Pound Sledge IPA.  Said our goodbyes to our paddling friends -- people come from all over for this event, and we met a couple from Glasgow, Scotland -- and started walking back to the original brewery where we piled into the Jeep and drove to one of Jeff's cousins from the other side of his family.  She opened her home to us for the night, let us take a shower, then we went out for dinner.

Thursday morning, we grabbed breakfast at The Omelette Shop, then filled the gas tank and drove home.  Dropped Jeff off in Auburn, then finished the push back to my place.  My batteries are recharged as much as they've ever been.  Given the past month and the roller coaster ride it has been, this was a much needed diversion.

If you haven't been to Traverse City, you should.  It's a really cool city, tons of great food and local flavor, and has so far managed to keep the downtown area very local (all the crappy chain restaurants are on the south side of town) and vibrant.  

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Paddle for Pints website