If they manage to jam it through, it's gonna cost me, because I will always buy ammunition in 1K+ lots. You wanna list? Put my name right at the head of it.
Why? Because none of your business, is why. And because I shoot that much. And because if you're worried about the buying habits of middle-aged spinsters and a zillion other law-abiding Americans, you need to worry and would do so even in a fuzzy-Nerf world. Jerks. (Frank, Chuckie? I'm lookin' at you. 'Cos you're freedom-hating yammerheads.)
--Oh, not again, again!Another IMPD officer has been nabbed operating a vehicle in such wise as to attract the attention of the State Police and to subsequently merit an arrest for driving drunk. To his (scant) credit, he was in his own vehicle and on his own time. Still, arrested and handcuffed seems a poor way to get into a treatment program. Try harder, IMPD. --There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop. While it's easy to get all huffy and whiny 'cos Officer Friendly pulled you over for a burned-out license plate lamp and had the unmitigated gall to have unsnapped the retention strap of his sidearm and actually -- ohmiGawrsh, Becky! -- had his hand restin' on it when he came up to tellya, "License & registration, please," consider the examples cited and remember police are not mind-readers. While I'd take exception to looking down the barrel over a traffic ticket, I don't fault anyone who walks into an unknown situation with their hand ready to draw. There's some bad people out there and their taillights burn out, too.
I made it to Eagle Creek Pistol Range yesterday, an hour before closing. The plan: Check out a recently-purchased revolver or two.
Despite liberal application of Break-Free CLP, the Supershot 22 is kind of stiff and slow; I think it had a long, long nap. The action must be worked quite vigorously to ensure the hammer hits hard enough to set off the primer -- but if I keep the teeny-weeny Old School sights lined up, it is spot-on accurate. So that's a good sign and it's off to the 'smith for a checkup and cleaning.
I shot my High Standard Sentinel .22 revolver and the little H&R 623 "pull pin" .22* awhile to remind my hands and eyes of how things are supposed to work and after a half a box or so, tried the other "new" purchase, which showed up at Gander Mountain at a giveaway price: It's an H&R in .32 S&W Long, under $150 after their weekend sale discount. The photo is deceptive: the frame and barrel is blued and in pretty nice shape; the hammer (in the white) has some surface rust that should polish off. (So why so cheap? Odd caliber, plus a manufacturer other than The Big Two, I suspect, plus it's hardly pristine.) Update: Online research indicates it was made in 1979, so the stocks are probably just space-age polymer rather than Bakelite (in-joke!) or gutta-percha.
At the price, I wasn't expecting much. Indeed, it isn't a "natural pointer" in my hand -- but as soon as I started trusting the sights and ignoring the feeling that it was aimed way low, it was putting holes right in the center of the target. The DA trigger pull is quite heavy but smooth enough. .32 S&W L isn't exactly one of the hottest cartridges out there, with the zippiest ambling along at 723 ft/sec, delivering perhaps a third the energy of a "cowboy" loaded .32-20 and a hair less than .32 ACP. But it has a good reputation for accuracy and would be an adequate purse or back-up gun. Or simply as a range gun.
So a fun hour at the range, alongside the usual Eagle Creek mix -- an older couple with a shiny, shiny Beretta 96 to my left, possibly early in their learning curve, a younger guy to my right with a 22/45 methodically removing the center of his target and folks with all manner of small arms and skill levels on down the firing line. _____________________________________ * This is actually a lazy trick: the H&R is a six-gun, the High Standard is a 9-shot. CCI packs .22 in rows of five, so I can dump out three rows and load both with minimum fumbling. I think the H&R 623, another low-priced find, is a real sleeper; the sights are good, DA trigger pull is smooth and easy and the felt recoil seems to be lower than any .22 revolver I own. (Mine was made in 1958. And I found a reproduction instruction booklet for it!)
You want the quick read? He says they all otta show their cards. Every last one of 'em, candidates and incumbents alike.
...And that's why I miss old-school journalists. Y'might not always agree with their politics but a huge lot of them had no tolerance for elected officials skulking about hiding things, no matter their party or causes.
You could call it idealistic naïveté - in fact, some of you will (there's plenty of hippieishness at which to look askance) -- but it appears to be at least self-supporting. Besides, they're pushin' books, hanging out on streetcorners and luring the underprivileged into literacy, and I like that.
Every time you buy a tome from used-bookseller Better World Books (a Hoosier company, shipping outta Indy and points north), they donate a book to someone in need. Then they take any leftover profit, wrap it up and make sure it gets spent on literacy and libraries. You get books and other people get to read, people who might otherwise have nothin' but the ads on buses and billboards. --And it's not some compulsory tax-funded exercise in bureaucracy, either; they're paying for the whole thing by selling books to willing buyers at good prices.
In what reads like a 21st-Century epilog to The Specialist, Indianapolis Fire Department rescue divers braved the Central Canal early this morning to rescue...a Port-O-Let. The convenience was standing in about five feet of water, near NCAA Headquarters* and was initially reported to be occupied. If it was, the hapless victim had fled by the time help arrived.
Iver Johnsons, the both of them: On the left, a 9-shot 22 SUPERSHOT (says so right on the barrel, see below) and on the right, a Model 844, Supershot Sealed 8 (Third Model) and yes, it's an 8-shot. The William Goforth book, Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works Firearms 1871-1993, arrived today from Gun Show Books,* so I now know the one on the left was made in 1930 and the one on the right between 1956 and '58 (records from those years, the last for this model, are lost or jumbled). The late Mr. Goforth thought very highly of the line, referring to the last as "...the ultimate .22 caliber top break revolver. Even the modern H&R Model 999 Sportsman did not have the looks and balance of the .22 Supershot Sealed 8 revolver." [pp 75 - 76] Of the Third Model in particular, he wrote that they were, "...most likely the best top break .22 Rimfire revolvers manufactured by anyone." [p. 88]
High praise indeed, and while the later Trailsman 66 might make a slightly better "kit gun," being a bit shorter and having a chrome lined barrel (!), I've found my Sealed 8 enjoyable to shoot despite a certain balkiness (and it'll be headed to the gunsmith to address that). The 1930 Supershot has yet to visit the range -- I am planning on tomorrow for that.
The Goforth book makes fascinating reading; he focuses on both history and technical features, weaving a remarkable perspective on the company. Profusely illustrated, large-format paperback, 224 pp -- and full of information you can't find anywhere else. I recommend it. ___________________________________________ * Purchasing from Gun Show Books was a notably pleasant experience, with prompt e-mails acknowledging my order, followed by accurate shipping and arrival estimates. The book was extremely well packaged, arriving in pristine condition. I'll certainly look to them for firearms books in the future.
I was going to say, "So hot, the cicadas have given up," but Tam informs me they have been yammering away all day, every day, and don't fall silent until very late in the afternoon; I guess the poor little dears are just all tuckered out by the time I get home. --Which is unusual enough, shutting up not being one of their strengths.
We did -- finally! -- get another blast of rain yesterday; not really enough to do much good, particularly if you're engaged in the business of agriculture. But it may keep the lawn from committing seppuku from shame over its complete inability to be green, lush, inviting or even homey.
Indiana Democrats have thrown over longtime House minority leader (and Speaker when his party was in the majority) Patrick "the Hair" Bauer for a younger and, I suppose, better-looking Representative, Linda Lawson of Hammond.
Like a moth to a flame, a Chicago Democrat is drawn to gun control. Bitter's got the round-up. Here's the money quote from President Obama: "...AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities."
Yes, that's what he said -- and you'll note he leaves no room at all for the honest gun-owner, nor bothers with the distinction between a fully-automatic AK-47 (which takes a $200 tax stamp and Federal paperwork, above and beyond the stunning price the limited supply commands) and a one-round-per-trigger-press semi-auto SovBloc tomato stake from Ed's Bait and Boomsticks. Nope, in his world they're all eeeeviiiiil and if you have one and you're not a soldier, you must be a crook.
Thanks for motivating the gunnie base, Mr. President -- though I'm pretty sure that wasn't your intention.
Elsewhere, Mr. Romney has been busily applying a new coat of lipstick to the pig of the Massachusetts "assault weapons" ban he signed while Governor; perhaps that's what gave Mr. Obama the notion this was a can of worms he could open.
I certainly hope Mr. Romney is a quick study. The 'States as a whole do not look much like his home state on this issue. (And meanwhile, where is the Libertarian Party? Come out, come out, wherever you are -- this is an issue you can own! Assuming you can get the creaking media to notice, that is.)
Not since churches fought over the relics of saints has there been such contention over a dead person: Astronaut Sally Ride passed away and her obituary listed a woman as her "significant other."
On the one hand, shock and sniggering have erupted; on the other, gay activists are rushing in to both claim her (in the usual groupthink silliness -- see there, one left-handed Irishwoman can too do that kind of thing, so that means any of 'em could!) and condemn her for not having been out, loud and proud. --'Cos you know, NASA astronauts, they just go out of their way to be confrontational, right?
Clearly, she didn't think her private life was any of the public's business while she was alive -- and the kind of personality that gets through spaceflight training doesn't run to controversial outspokenness.
Remember her as an astronaut and educator; think what you want about her home life but bear in mind that she handled it with discretion and grace. Would that society's self-appointed pundits could do the same!
Why? Because the store chain didn't enforce their no-guns policy, thereby exposing the would-be bandit to "peril." ...Yep, peril. While threatening employees and trying to rob the store.
If you were wondering why good ol' Barney Kroger won't let his employees arm themselves, wonder no more. While local legal luminaries don't think this notion will get very far in an Indiana court, all it takes is one really good sob story* and a judge who figures a grocery chain has got deep pockets to put a serious hurt on the company -- and that's dice they're not willing to roll. After all, the forces of idiocy keep assuring them that all that have to do is give the bad guys what they want and everything will be okay; that theory plays pretty well when you're not the clerk being chivvied into the backroom with what feels like a gun jammed into your back. __________________________________________ * I blame Jean Valjean for this kind of sappiness. It's a story, people; in the 'States, he'd've been holding up a sign at a freeway interchange asking for bread money, not stealing the stuff.
I'm seeing stories on local news emphasizing A) how much ammunition the murdering moron in Colorado had and B) how easy it is to order ammunition online.
Interestingly, I don't see any reports saying how many shots he fired; as a rough estimate, given the time and number of injured and killed, probably 200 or less, an amount most firearms enthusiasts will use up shooting at paper targets or metal plates in a typical session at a range.
Despite the tender sensibilities and breathless horror of our dear, dear friends in the media, the issue is not how much ammunition one might buy at a time, or where it was purchased; that was not the crime.
Nope, the issue is what it always is: the initiation of force against others -- and what individuals and society ought to do about it. But gee, that's hard to report on and it doesn't have striking visuals.
The present teapot-tempest over ammunition misses the mark entirely. Just as it's painfully easy -- and unrealistic -- to Walter-Mitty-ize about what you might've done had you been there at the scene, we're now being treated to gun store salesmen wistfully suggesting they'd've stopped any sale of 6000 rounds if they'd found the buyer even the least bit hinky. Never mind that friends and neighbors are reporting the Colorado killer as a quiet, smiling, even friendly fellow up to within a few days of his crime. (That nervous-acting guy at the counter buying a case of ammunition is probably taking advantage of a good price -- and fretting what his spouse is going to say when she sees the credit-card bill).
Hindsight is 20/20, but don't confuse it with insight. And don't confuse sensationalizing news reports with wisdom.
If this threatens to turn into legislation, fight it for all it's worth. There's no lower-round limit for evil; no bad guy is going to be deterred by purchase limits or ownership limits. ___________________________________________ 1. Still, I wish someone had been able to shoot back. Once evil has taken action, even a slim chance is better than none; the scene as described makes defensive fire difficult but not impossible. But we live in the world of what is, not what-if, and in that world, nobody in the theater was prepared. Which is what mass killers count on. 2. For the few who don't already know, even for weekend plinkers like me, a total count of 6000 rounds is not unusual, it's typical. Shooting little .22 revolvers, it's not unusual for me to use up 300 rounds in a single range session. Add up all the various boxes of normal and obscure calibers one accumulates and most firearms hobbyists will have at least 6ooo rounds. (That much .22LR would fit into a couple of shoeboxes, if your feet aren't too big; you'd need four or five shoeboxes for the same in .45 or .223.) A serious competition shooter has probably got even more on the shelf.
I'm still no fan of his policies, politics or even his choice of friends. But President Obama did something right and he deserves credit: He has refused to say the name of the murderous jerk who shot up a theater full of people.
That simple step, denying fame to the evil, is something anyone can do. Unless you're a fan of insanity, you're opposed to attacks on innocent people. Pro-gun, anti-gun, Left, Right, Center or Up, you can refuse to use the killer's name. The desire to be "known" seems to be a factor in this kind of deadly insanity and we need not play along with it -- not you, not me, and not the guy with the "bully pulpit" I'm gonna vote against come November.
The things I find myself saying to cats! When I make bacon for breakfast, I will often give Tamara's cat Rannie (Random Numbers Wu, a tortoiseshell calico with a lot of Siamese ancestry) a tiny taste of warm bacon grease for a treat. She loves it, and will spend hours grooming afterwards, presumably so she can confound her prey -- whatever she thinks it might be, possibly tiny little pre-smoked hogs that graze on salt, pepper and nitrates -- by smelling all bacon-y.
However, this treat has had the unfortunate effect of convincing the cat that all kitchen activity must produce some kind of tasty grease. Slice of toast, nice fresh fruit, rice and beans, whatever you're making, Rannie is underfoot and complaining, loudly, that she is not receiving her just dues. Tonight's herb salad with baby carrots and a thin-sliced hot dill pickle? That cat thinks she wants some and is offended that I haven't handed it over.
And so there I was, explaining to a royally irked housecat that "salad grease" does not exist. Man, she's going to give me an earful the first time I make a wilted-spinach salad with hot bacon dressing!
Meanwhile Huck, my big striped yellow tom, ignores the proceedings with regal disdain; he's not the least bit interested in any meal he can't either hunt down live on the hoof and/or gobble at breakneck speed.
It was larger than we'd expected and even on Sunday, there were some nice items to be found. Tam found a-- Wait, that's hers to tell! I found this: Yes, it's another Iver Johnson top-break 22 revolver. (On which someone, somehow, managed to find and install Pachmayr grips. This would not have been my first choice but they feel okay). The one I already had was a Model 844 and it's gone finicky (and headed for the 'smith); this one's a genuine "Supershot" model -- and not a "Sealed 8," as the cylinder is not counterbored. That, the "plummy" blueing on the frame and the four-digit serial number leads me to think it's an older example. --I admit it: I have a weakness for top-breaks. And .22s. I just need the Iver Johnson bicycle to match! (And not an I-J motorcycle? Nope; while among the finest of their time, they are also as rare as hen's teeth and command prices to match. It would be too dear to ride).
From the gun show in one side of the building to the Kokomo Automotive Museum in the other. It's a huge space, with a very comprehensive collection, starting, of course, with a copy of the Elwood P. Haynes original, probably the first such vehicle in the U.S. Haynes started small but turned to building lovely, big cars and even trucks. At least until an economic downturn tripped them up in 1924. But by then, Indiana's auto industry was in full swing; Ford even built vehicles at a plant in Indianapolis. I don't know if this is one of them. My father was fond of pointing out that there were still "NO LUGS" signs posted on Indiana State Highways here into the 1960s. Have a close look at the lugged rear wheels and their gear-offset drive, a feature that was to show up again decades later in Indiana manufacturer AM General's HMWWV.
There were several Ford Model As, though no truck versions. (Yes, I still want one -- I think the Model A is one of the better-looking cars ever built).
Still in my camera, some gorgeous Packards and a couple of Chevys -- and a very interesting Fisk Tire sign. That'll have to wait until later.
Tam and I visited the Indiana World War Memorial today. This amazing structure, built as a memorial to WW I troops, includes a remarkable museum and a re-creation of the radio room of the ill-fated Indianapolis. How much an architectural gem is this building? Start with the lobby drinking fountain. Yes, lean in there between the two American eagles, sonny. They won't bite -- if you're a patriot!
Even the ceiling of the auditorium. (Not enough flash to capture the auditorium proper, which is in matching style) Here's a typical hallway detail, exiting the museum: The shrine room, entered via a long, gently inclined stairway with a sharp turn at the top, is nearly impossible to photograph. I have snapshots of pieces, sections: Still, nothing quite captures the sense of the space, 60 feet square and 110 feet tall.A fascinating place. We'll be back. (And I have the USS Indianapolis Radio Room on Retrotechnologist.)
Channel-surfing through newscasts, I hit a local news ad on the last-place station: "...tragedy in Aurora. Tune in at 11 to learn how local authorities are handling the situation, and how moviegoers are handling themselves."
You'd think they'd take, what, thirty seconds to double check what they'd written, given the gravity of the situation -- not to mention the breathless manner in which every TV newsie and pundit down to the janitor is telling us over and over just how terrible it is (like we wouldn't know?). You'd be wrong.
Because odds are, the idiot wanted to become "famous."
As you know by now, last night, a homicidal jerk in Aurora, CO gas-bombed a crowded theater, then opened fire. Sadly, nobody shot back. A dozen people died.
Crazy, evil people do that sort of stuff. The Mayor of New York is already saying it's the Second Amendment's fault (and we should ignore the home-made tear gas? Which could just as easily have been something a lot more toxic?).
Don't let Bloomberg -- and the other gun-grabby groups -- use the criminal acts of one man to diddle away your rights.
At least he's not driving drunk! Nope, a little matter of attempted suicide and stalking -- stalking that involved violating a restraining order over two dozen times.
Where does the city find such gems?
(Special "Authorized Journalist" Bonus: it seems the stalking charges include a Class B felony, implying some of it was done while armed. Armed with what Star Reporter Bill McCleery refers to as a "IMPD service revolver." No, it's not a 1960s flashback -- and IMPD patrolmen are issued big plastic semiautomatics, not six-shooters. But thanks to about a zillion 1930s-40s detective pulps, "service revolver" crawled into keyboards and printing-presses and they just can't seem to pry it out. It might help if more reporters actually knew the difference -- but I'm dreaming.)
Who remembers the attorney's rule for when you've done something that may end up in court? Two simple little words: Shut up.
Tempting though it may be to "get your side of the story out," it's not worth it. The way Zimmerman is being raked over the coals for having said of the mess in which he is embroiled, "It's G-d's plan" should be a warning example.
(Six commenters are now going to explain to me what he meant. --I get it; "I'm a little guy caught up in a huge event and all I can do is look to my faith" is a normal reaction. But it doesn't matter. It has already been spun against him, as was inevitable.)
Guilty or innocent, when you're facing a trial, just shut up!
I've got an amendment to propose. It'd never get through Congress -- consider it a thought-experiment.
It's simple: if the Feds give you money, from a handout to a paycheck to a bailout, you can't vote. Yep, everybody from the Boards of Directors and CEOs of bailed-out banks right down to the most inoffensive Welfare recipient and everyone getting a Social Security check: no franchise for you! Not Solyndra's principals, not soldiers nor sailors nor Congressmen. They are getting paid tax money and they can darned well sit down, shut up and let the people who are having to pay the piper call the tune.
An entitlement class will always vote their own interests; and it's in their interest, in the interest of everyone from shady bankers dumping their losses on the public to the sweet little AARP member who bakes cookies for the postman, to expand their take of free money from the government -- except it's not free and it doesn't come from the government: it comes from you.
Time we put a stop to it -- if we can. There's already more than one person getting a handout for every two working; add in the number of individuals (and Party members) working at "public sector" jobs and it's a hell of a voting bloc.
I'd love to at least see it put forward in Congress, if only to snicker at the howls of outrage. "Sure, the house is burning down," they'll whine, "but it couldn't possibly burn all the way down!"
Wanna bet? Oh, wait, that's right, they already did. With my money. And yours, too.
Update II: The sticking point for a lot of commenters is denying the franchise to people who actually work for the government, as opposed to recipients of transfer payments. Indeed, it does seem unfair, and I'm not suggesting the postman who walks dozens of miles every day lugging a mailbag or combat troops are in any way freeloaders. But the problem is, their votes can be bribed with tax money. H. L. Mencken wrote, "Every election is a sort of advance auction of stolen goods." Figure out how to prevent that and you've solved the problem. Have I? I dunno.
Update: Yes, I propose if you, personally, accept money from the Feds, you hadn't ought to be voting. So that would include the clever lads with their hands out, running failing businesses "too big to fail," and yes, your dear old Aunt who gets Social Security checks, too. What? You object on account of she paid into the system? Tough. When she was paying in, she had a vote. If she wants one now, she can stop accepting checks; as long as she is taking them, her interest is compromised. It would also include the military. Oh, the horror and outrage in comments! --But dear readers, professional serving military used to have a tradition of not voting; they held it to be inappropriate. And it still should be, IMO; see above in re "compromised interests."
Somehow, people still act like we're gonna get out of this without tears. Guess again, and probably a lot worse than G. I Joe missing an absentee ballot or Granny dining on kibble. It's not like my modest proposal is going to happen -- and since it won't, it's not like the Federal "house" won't burn all the way down to scorched earth, at the hands of the men and women you let get voted in. But hey, bread and circuses 'til it falls. And stirring music, too.
Animal-feeding times here at Roseholme have their very own...dynamic.
RX [enters her BEDROOM carrying a small bowl of expensive cat kibble]: "Oh, there you are, Rannie! It's dinner time!"
RANNIE CAT [curled up on bed]: OPENS ONE EYE. LOOKS BORED
RX [sits down next to RANNIE and places bowl between them]: "Look! It's the good stuff!"
RANNIE CAT: PONDERS CLAWS ON LEFT FORELEG, YAWNS
RX: OFFERS CAT A SINGLE KIBBLE "Here!"
RANNIE CAT: BARELY ACCEPTS IT. TRIES FOR A BITE OF RX'S FINGERTIPS ALONG WITH KIBBLE.
RX: "See? It is the good stuff!"
RANNIE CAT: IGNORES BOWL
RX: FEEDS CAT ANOTHER KIBBLE, AVOIDING TEETH BY OFFERING IT FROM A HIGHER ANGLE.
RANNIE CAT: [in a strange little high-pitched voice] "Nom, nom, nom nom."
[Process continues until about half the kibble is gone, the cat saying "Nom, nom, nom" about a third of the time]
RX: "Okay, I'll leave the bowl here here and you can finish."
RANNIE CAT: POINTEDLY IGNORES BOWL.
...Really, unless she can bite you and complain about having to, eating is just no fun for that cat. Meanwhile, the Striped Stomach That Walks had gobbled his supper and was tapping at the door, wanting a chance to see if there were any leftovers from his Goth sister.
Five actual hours of sleep -- a personal record for the last six days -- and a fried egg on an "everything" bagel makes me feel a lot more hopeful this morning. The silly little one-egg skillet would give anyone a giggle: it looks like something stolen from a playset! Works a treat, though.
Speaking of "hopeful," readers of both our blogs may not've seen exactly what Tam is off to do: it's a shot in the dark! But not quite dark dark, thanks to the sponsor's products. Yes, it's Crimson Trace's first-ever Midnight 3-Gun Invitational! Should be interesting -- in fact, it already is.
Or, when is an artist a mathematician? If one answer is, "When he crosses paths with R. Buckminster Fuller," you're on the right track!
Today's subject, Kenneth Snelson, a fellow who has proposed -- and built -- new physical-conceptual models of the atom and appears to be the very first man to set up a tensegrity tower, an impossible-looking object that stands tall -- on its own bootstraps. Or tension cables. Have a look!
(I could swear at one time I read the University of Hawaii had an AM radio tower built on this model, but I'm not finding it. Once windload is taken into account, such a structure uses up most of its strength holding up its own weight -- that's the design "trick" to it -- but that's all a tower has to do for an AM station: it's really just a fat piece of wire.)
Called in this morning to have a friend confirm that I am, once again, heading into a vacation sick. I hadn't heard that another one of my co-workers is fighting a mild case of pneumonia -- his tween-aged daughter having a much worse case. Here's hoping they're both much better soon.
Man, passing colds around the office is one thing but this is right over the top! (Not really, or at least highly unlikely: No lung-crackles for me. Treatment would be the same in either case. Chalk it up to unfortunate co-incidence).
Hoping to get my bronchitis cured by next Saturday -- turns out there is an Indiana Historical Radio Society meet then and given that many of the collectors are of a venerable -- and vulnerable -- age, I ain't a-gonna walk into their midst if I'm still hacking and coughing.
Seriously. Sick, I have barely been eating; food hasn't tasted right and the temperature spike that follows eating has been pretty off-putting.
So this morning's bacon-and-egg on an English muffin* is a blessing indeed, being tasty and filling and worth the price. I had a bad moment when it appeared Tam had packed the Cholula sauce off to the Northwest, but it had only got behind the Tobasco. Whew!
Next goal: more than three hours' sleep at a stretch. ____________________________ * Apologies to the Brits, who would more likely call the thing a crumpet; this is an American term along the lines of calling chips "French fries." If we spoke the exact same flavor of the lingo, we wouldn't have much to talk about!
(And others doing the same thing) --Look, you absolutely have a right to express yourself and it is completely understandable that your feelings run very high over the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, but please, please, please: it's well over 90 degrees F out there. At least get a lightweight hoodie to wear with the hood up, willya?
It's difficult to express much of anything when you are laying heatstroked on the sidewalk.
I did -- barely -- go to the Indy Hamfest, very late. I didn't last quite an hour but at least I said hi to my friend Don, who works tirelessly on the committee that runs it. He's got a cold, too, which only goes to show.
Drove back home quite woozy and napped briefly. I'm headed right back to bed as soon as this is posted, too.
One bit of good news: as I arrived at the hamfest, my phone rang: I'm a Great-aunt again. My oldest niece's first child was born today, two weeks ahead of schedule! A boy. Mother and child doing very well. But I durst not visit until I'm well. And FWIW? She's a Nurse-Practitioner, specializing in neo-natal care. This does not make it easier; quite the reverse, since she's familiar with every last thing that can go awry.
Could not sleep -- finally ended up with a gel icepack under my left cheekbone, where the sinuses were shrieking, and fell asleep for a couple hours that way. Coughing more.
Woke up a whiskey contralto, or maybe baritone. Anyway, it's an octave I can't usually reach.
So, today, the doc for sure; today I won't be a fool and eat breakfast. Ebola is already out (I'd be dead and so would you). Pretty sure we can rule out malaria and Dengue fever. The white-coat syndrome ain't helpin' any, I hate lettin' those heathens poke at me.
...And yes, ours is just as stupid as Chicago's, only cheaper: the City has set the base value of a firearm of unknown and possibly questionable provenance at $50, half of the Chicago price -- and even though they say "No questions asked," they wanna see ID. Oh! And ours is on the grounds of a school, too, which tends to frustrate creative solutions to one of the problems with these things (other than the insanity of government "buying back" what they never owned to begin with).
"Problem?" you ask. Yep. See, while granny may have a Lorcin or a no-name Philippine slag gun in her sock drawer, it's also possible grampa left her with a very nice Colt or Smith, and when she hands it over to Johnny Law lest little Junior take it off to a gang shindig, she's getting screwed.
Come to think of it, since they supposedly don't even run the numbers of these guns against firearms reported stolen, there's a chance other people are getting the short end, too.
I don't really have a problem with providing the willfully self-disarming a way to get those icky guns outta the house. Some of them may not even know where the guns stores are, or be willing to dare drive that revolver or shotgun to such a place -- but there's no reason to cheat them in the process. (The report claims the thing will take guns out of criminals hands. O rly?)
This exercise will take place in The Meadows, a long-busted shopping center in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Indy. Why do anti-gunners hate poor people?
The Fair Train is a popular part of the Indiana State Fair. Operated by the Indiana State Transportation Museum on little-used track (originally on the now-a-bike-path Monon and it was quite a thing to see trains roar across the bridge over Kessler Ave.* Now it runs on another bit of trackage a few miles to the East that passes on the opposite side of the Fairgrounds from the Monon), it makes frequent runs from a station in Fishers to the State Fairgrounds and back, all day every day, during the Fair. There's plenty of parking at the Fishers end of the run, too.
...But recently, the normally pretty-good folks at Citizen's Gas replaced a gas main under the tracks at 56th St. Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, the outfit actually responsible for the tracks suggested 25 feet was the proper depth; Citizen's Gas smiled and laid the line seven feet down. The track operator promptly banned trains from operating on that stretch of track.
Today, the two organizations, having been induced to break the impasse, will be doing a "deflection test:" drive a train over the gas main/rail crossing and see what bends.
No smoking! ___________________________________ * That's the bridge that caused the change to a bike path; the city had been paving under it for over 80 years...and despite a sign giving the clearance, it had been a long time since anyone actually measured the height. A truck that was just a few inches under that limit went zooming under the bridge one day, and stuck. Even moved the bridge a little. The cost and trouble to replace the bridge was well beyond any practical figure, so hello, rails-to-trails. I believe the scrap iron prices of the rail paid for the much lighter bridge that now makes that crossing. Interestingly, IMPD drives over it sometimes when closing the trail for the evening. Is the bridge rated to carry a Crown Vic? I dunno. Hasn't fallen yet.
100.3 and still climbing. It's an improvement over the first part of the night, when I was freezing. I'd been coughing the last 2 - 3 days but hadn't thought much of it. Got a side order of nasty joint pain, too.
(6:49 a.m.) My doctor has me on a low dosage of an old blood-pressure med, in an attempt to stave off my headaches. I ran through most of the usual drugs used to treat 'em long ago and have been relying on Vitamin I -- ibuprofen -- for years. Doesn't stop a headache but usually knocks it down to a dull and distant irk.
So this stuff is "can't hurt," my BP being very mildly at the high end of normal (at home) and just over it (if measured in a doctor's office).
No harm, but not help, either. This morning, I have as bad a headache as I have had in years. I'm not moving well and I am typing this without looking at the screen, 'cos it hurts to. If the Vitamin I doesn't do its job toot-de-sweet, I'm lookin' at losing a day's pay. :(
(7:15 a.m.) Better Living Through Science: Yes! Pain is...okay, not gone, but it's changed from "800-lb gorilla" to one of those little marmoset guys no taller than your finger. Here's to treating the symptoms!
Okay. That's how it's done -- and so much simpler than legislators sneaking over the state line, or nitwits jammin' up the State Capitol building to the point of personal danger.
Look, the outcome may not always be to one's individual liking (I do not mention -- spit -- Obamacare; other persons might unmention Citizens United) but this actually is the checks-and-balances system at work. There's a law; some folks think it might clash with the state constitution or with other laws, so it gets hauled up before a judge or judges and we find out. And if enough people are unhappy with what the judges decide, why, we start over in the legislature; see Indiana's right-to-resist-unlawful-police-entry law and the miserable Indiana Supreme Court ruling that prompted it,* if you'd like an example.
I don't mind seeing even a law I like get challenged -- I just wish more laws were. Maybe we could weed 'em out a little. ______________________________ * Say NO in NOvember to Justice Steven H. David! Yes, he's the man who thinks Officer Friendly -- and, alas, his cousin, Officer Hostile -- should be able to walk right in your home sans warrant, exigent circumstance or probable cause. The Legislature pinned his ears back but he really needs to have a job where his unAmerican ideas will do less harm. We can help point him in that direction, with one simple vote.
Y'know, good (applewood smoked!) bacon and a fried egg will go a long way towards making a person feel human -- but adding hot coffee and "Swedish" or non-rising pancakes,* stacked up with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of sugar between each layer makes me feel nearly superhumanly good. I'd've taken pictures -- they do turn out pretty -- but given the choice between delaying for photos and digging right in? No contest! (On bacon: I eat the stuff sparingly and thus feel no guilt about buying the best. It's all about equally bad for you, so why scrimp?)
Meanwhile outside, the squirrels are commencing to melt. This little imp was well aware he was being watched and started mugging for the camera. He's used to it -- he teases and lectures Huck (The Mighty Hunter) through the windows just about daily. __________________________ * Simplest hotcake recipe evar: a cup of milk, a cup (on the generous side) of flour and a couple or three eggs; beat half to death, add a little cold water if it seems too thick. You can throw in a little sugar if you want to, or cinnamon, but they're not necessary. The original sort is et with lingonberry jam between each layer -- they'd be zoomin' with sweet orange marmelade.
...This weather really takes it out of you. Two hours at the range yesterday had me napping that afternoon; then a bike ride to the grocer's and back in the evening had me yawning and despite leaving the various and sundry alarums set to their usual time, here I am -- and still a cup of coffee short of sensible.
Seen on a pump at the gas station at 16th & Illinois Streets, about as down-downtown Indy as it gets, a sticky-note: That this hasn't been yanked down yet should tell you something; that petrol stop has better-balanced demographics than prime-time TV -- including PBS.
From $1.78/gallon to $3.72 in one Olympiad: I do have to admit, it is a change.
See, when the U.S. went to the to Moon, we could ground our electrical equipment and everything was tickety-boo. But the Brits? ...Let me put it as nicely as I can: on this planet, British electronic gear has to be Earthed.
Reports say it happened in front of the Vogue, an old neighborhood movie house turned (lo, these many years) into a nightclub, just after 2:30 this morning. Victim is in hospital with "non-life-threatening" injuries. Meanwhile, the shooter is said to have run east and IMPD admits to having arrested at least one guy a couple blocks east of the scene. They aren't calling him the perp yet.
This sort of thing does occur, though at far greater intervals than the easily-panicked would have you think. Flip side, robberies (and attacks, until now) have not been happening.
Past that, there is not enough information to speculate -- despite at least one ill-informed comment at the link. Choirboy menaced by a miscreant? Horseplay gone wrong? Thug-on-thug violence? Objection to wearing paisley with bold stripes? Perhaps we'll know more tomorrow.
I'll see your "1900 and froze to death" and raise you. Wayyyy up. It's 10:46 pm on Independence day, the A/C is running and I am still glow- er, persp- oh, heckers, sweating. Coil hasn't frozen (knock wood), there's cool air coming out, but it hasn't caught up.
Withal, I'm in a good mood. Denied fireworks -- more by our own good sense than governmental decree (I'm shocked, shocked that Tam didn't buy and stockpile any -- OTOH, should be cheaper tomorrow) -- we celebrated with grilled steak a la Roseholme: big, well-marbled filets mignon, cooked on a closed grill over lump hardwood charcoal, treated with a bit of salt and pepper beforehand and with a pat of Irish butter added at the penultimate flip; to which one adds well-baked tatties (in foil, with butter, salt, pepper and garlic -- and I cheated, gave 'em a few rounds in the 'wave beforehand) and a good garden salad with balsamic vinegarette: bliss! Double bliss, washed down with Squirt (grapefruit soda) and Moxie.
Seriously, those steaks...! Cut with a spoon, melt in your mouth, moist, smoky and wonderful. You don't put anything on 'em; they don't need it. (And those are just the mid-grade from Fresh Market. They had some well-aged ones for half again as much; I'd'a bought them but I feared so much joy could be too much.)
I've got fudge in the fridge but some hours after dinner, I'm still too full to contemplate it.
"Happy Co-dependance Day," says the fed.gov, with a warm and smarmy reminder that they're there for us -- and, especially, there for the contents of our wallets. C'mon, you, hand it over! Don't you care about poor people? An' struggling Congressthings?
I'd send 'em a rocket* but the city's fretful I'll catch the place on fire -- also, Officer Friendly will come 'round an' offer me a ticket and a hickory shampoo if I try. It's for my own good, innit? (Yes, it turns out they can ban fireworks, just as long as they declare a disaster first. Drought: disaster. Hurrah! Our Leaders have now arranged matters such that only the least-responsible and most furtive of persons will ignite pyrotechnic amusements. What could possibly go wrong?) ____________________________________ * PS, we're all still terrists again. I knew it, I just knew it -- it's that beady "don't tread on me, bro" look in yer eyes. So not down with the collective whim. Feds: figure of speech, damn you, figure of speech. Also, it still moves.
This morning as I oversleep gloriously, the TV is listing all the events du jour of the day:
"Last, there will be an old-fashioned ice cream social at the President Benjamin Harrison home from 11 'til 3 today; they'll have ice cream and historical enactors!"
Tam, kibitzing from the door, remarks, "Historical enactors?"
I'm not too sleepy to take the bait: "Sure! They show historic events that never happened: 'President Harrison repelling invaders from Mars!' 'President Harrison concluding the first treaty with the Vampire Nation!' 'Installing the Electric Bathtub in the White House!' It'll be great!" Who could forget America's steam-powered Moon program? (Okay, the steam-powered moon thing didn't exactly work out and is sometimes cited as the reason for New Jersey as it now stands, but as the late President said himself, "An American citizen could not be a good citizen who did not have a hope in his heart.")
I'm scanning the headlines, yawn...Anderson Cooper comes out, to the surprise of almost nobody...some second-row model/actress giving Jessica Alba the stink-eye for having been handed better genes...undersea worms consume the bones of their victims by spraying acid, ho-hum...Higgs Boson 99.999 likely found...and something goes click. Ah-ha! Of course; it's the only logical reason:
Tam (reading items of actual worth, suddenly interrupted): "Higgins's bosom? Arthur Anderson?"
RX: "No, Higgs boson. Anderson Cooper? War of Jenkin's Ear?"
Tam: "Wart on Jenkin's ear?"
Less news. More fiction. It's a lot more internally consistent. And believable -- didja hear about the scary-skinny E! hostess who will cover the Olympics despite the near-certainly that it means she'll miss the birth of her and her husband's first child? Yep: hired a host-mother. Welcome to the future, still without flying cars or hotels on the Moon.
Update: Wednesday morning, the strange man in my TV was pronouncing it "Higgs bosun." As in the Navy rank. Now it's even clearer: see, the Higgs bosun couldn't go public until DADT was changed to "whatever, dude." I hope they're very happy together. Also, I wonder what kind of ship is the Higgs.
P.S. Since she's unlikely to tell you, Tam's knee sports a major bruise after her fall the other day -- but she's walking okay. Still, ow!
So, up Mordor Chicago way, they run an annual gun "buy-back"* and there's a degree of butt-hurtedness on the part of the Po-leece and happy-dancing by gunnies, because Champaign-based Guns Save Life rounded up every rusty, shot-out, beat-up and otherwise useless old gun they could find, turned them in, and walked away with over $6000. That money will be used to fund a gun camp for interested kids, and to purchase four bolt-action rifles to given away to lucky/skilled campers.
You have to wonder why the same police spokesperson who reminds that the "event..." is "...to take guns off the street..." calls netting a huge windfall, hundreds of guns they would not otherwise have received, "abusing a program intended to increase the safety of our communities."
No, see, if there is any kind of gun that makes people safer by being swapped away for a gift card and destroyed, it would be a rusty, worn-out one; so that's actually a win-win (with yet another win for the money being used to fund a camp for kids: teach 'em safe habits when they are young and they're that much less likely to shoot you by mistake).
But the antis -- and I'll count Chicago's government at every level as "anti" -- can't accept that as a positive. The antis had pro-gun types out rounding up and turning in hundreds more guns than GSL will be buying with the money received and yet still, antis call it abusing the program.
Gah. What a twisted, sour lot. Say hi to Mrs. Grundy and the WCTU for me, willya? Say hi to the frikkin' Klan; they hate the idea of "guns in the wrong hands," too. Mencken was soooooo right. ______________________________________________ * Flawed logic in the name: they were never the city's firearms to begin with!
I am, with any luck, working my way through a big pile of medical bills I should have got to over the weekend, which I mostly spent alternating between fitful sleep and feeling like warmed-over-death with a side of skim milk instead. Also, I need to be at my bank when it opens to pay yet another bill.
The good news? Play it right and I can have a nice poppyseed bagel, maybe with fried egg and bacon, at Einstein Brothers. Possibly it's "bacon" of the beef sort, I dunno, or maybe the brothers are not very observant; either way, I seem to recall it tastes just fine.
But not if I spend the morning geekening online. Next show in 14 hours! -Ish
(PS: Sunday evening, The Tamara slipped coming up the three steps leading from ground level to the kitchen, with both hands full of heavy items, and caught a kneecap on the edge of a stair tread as she fell. Iced her knee down immediately and for as long as I could make her leave it on; she can lift the leg straight, which is a very good sign, but at this -- prerecorded and shrink-wrapped for your protection -- posting, I don't yet know how she is after a night's rest. Hope for the best.)
Today, I am Not Well. Still. It is the weather? I'm blamin' the weather.
Slept. Slept from yesterday mid-afternoon to about 11 this morning, with frequent awakenings to head to the hall to the, er, head. Got up, stumbled through the kitchen for canned soup (lousy!), cinnamon toast (yum!) and coffee, zonked out on the couch in front of Warehouse 13, and fell back asleep. ______________________________________ 1. Embalmed beef and mushy veggies, in a distressingly-dark, nasty-textured broth. Not saying who but one of the better non-condensed brands. I expected better. 2. On the Roku, from the beginning. Surprisingly good; I think I recognize Jane Espenson's hand.
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Ego vadum perussi vestri prandium
"I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions."
Henry David Thoreau
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