Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Waited 10 Days....

...and all I got was this stinking blog post.

So I realize I just went a little over a week without an update, and then I throw a bunch of anti-victimization stuff at you. I've likely just scared off half of the folks at work that have viewed this blog approximately once. They probably think I'm crazy, but then, they likely thought that before they read my blog, so I think I'm par for the course.

My father has been torturing me with stories of derring do up on Whidbey Island. You know, the best place to be in the summer, complete with lovely trees, clean air, and 70 degree highs. *sigh* My only consolation is that he is enjoying that lovely weather by scraping the moss off of the house and priming and painting. At least he has his friend Tom there to keep him out of trouble......then again we are talking about Tom here....

I've spent the last week roasting in the heat, conducting a continued war on the weeds attacking my yard, learning that I need to put down more fire ant killer (ouch), and tormenting my neighbors by being *that guy* who stalks around his yard with no shirt on, muttering at the air and glaring at nothing in particular. Some of you may know that one of the two trees in my front yard died not too long ago. I had it replaced under warranty, but the new one started drying out as well, despite my changing the drip system for a twice daily soak. I immediately got suspicious and found and fixed two leaks in the drip line (both from over exuberant yard care "specialists" and cable installation technicians - or pot-smoking college kids in the lingo of the "biz"). I have the sprinkler folks coming out on Friday to give it a looksee, and am soaking the tree manually with the hose in the mean time.

My loan was sold to Countrywide. I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing, but they adjusted the escrow rate for my property taxes, so there's a little extra cash flow to use to stabilize the financial front, which, while doing fine, could be doing better. Just means I need to drum up more side work and not spend too much money dining out, which is a favorite past-time of mine.

On the patriotic front (thought you were going to get away from that in this post weren't ya?), I was also the only person who put up an American Flag for July 4th, within three streets (and the guy three streets over is an ex-Marine who flies his flag every day). I spent the previous weekend mounting the flag holders on the house. I am mounting in brick, so I did the right thing, went down to Home Depot, and got a masonry drill bit the correct size. I then learned an important lesson. I was killing myself trying to drill the hole. I'm thinking "I intentionally purchased a nice corded VSR Hammer Drill for just this purpose - why is this so hard?!?" When drilling masonry, or anything for that matter, it's pretty important that you have the drill set to drill IN, not OUT. Bugger. I managed to melt one of the two bits in the size I needed, but the remaining 7 holes were like butter. So there I am, the morning of July 4th, standing in front of the house (shirtless of course, gotta keep up appearances), and look up and down the street. Not a flag in sight. Not quite sure what this country is coming to. I seem to remember growing up that at least half the houses on our street flew their flags on such an important holiday. Just to drive the point home, I flew the Old Navy Jack next to Old Glory. Don't Tread On Me indeed. And to further make my point, I flew them both Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Take that!

So, now that I've established myself as the neighborhood "Peace Through Superior Firepower" nut...errr....I mean advocate, I've finished the effect by ensuring my grill regularly emits large amounts of carcinogens formerly contained in various meats, at least three times a week. I've been getting a lot of use out of it, chicken, bratwurst, steak, hamburgers, mmm.

Luckily, I'm offsetting the red meat fest with regular trips to the gym for strength training. Yeah yeah, it's not cardio or endurance, but I keep my sets close enough that my heart rate is running at a solid cardio rate for at least 30 minutes, which should do just the trick. I'm hoping to start playing soccer with a friend's over 30 men's team a little later this year. It sounds like they have some openings, and I figure I'll get in shape faster by doing something fun while exercising than staring at a wall on a treadmill. Meanwhile, I'm actually in the best shape I've been in since...well...since I swam competitvely as a little kid. My waist size is pretty much back to what it was in college, and the beer gut is melting off in a very visible and motivating way. Sweet.

So what have I been up to? Really, tending the lawn, grilling, ducking blog posts, getting some client work turned out for extra scratch, lifting weights, using a garden hose, and working my rear end off at Pursuant in the hopes I'll still be gainfully employed with them next year. ;)

Hope all is well with the rest of you!

Just Give Them What They Want

I was reading one of my favorite gun forums today, and someone posted a link to this article while saying that giving crooks what they want isn't always the best idea.

A fellow poster named David responded that you are far less likely to be injured in a robbery by simply complying and giving the robber whatever they want. After all, they'll just go away.

I thought about this for a short while, and my thoughts were immediately dragged back to a recent robbery here in Dallas. The local news interviewed both of the robbers, the link to that video interview is below. My response to David is below, and I hope that you'll take a moment to read through it, watch the linked video, and think for a moment about the people in your area that may be just like this.

David, a few years ago I saw statistics from the FBI I think it was, on the likelihood of being injured during a crime, and fighting back was *not* on the top of the list for most likely to be injured. For the life of me, I can't find the study now.

Here is the problem. Fine, maybe compliance will get you a pass on being harmed, but how do you know at the time? Are you willing to roll the dice and hope that you don't run into these guys? This piece of crap and his friend wasted a Christian musician out in front of a recording studio recently. You can see how remorseful he is about it. If you haven't seen this footage, please, please watch it. It may just open your eyes.

The funny thing is that we like to project our own rationality and emotional state on others. We like to think that your average predator just wants some cash for drugs, or whatever, but really he's just a rational guy that is down on his luck. The truth is that there is an entire class of people out there that DO NOT think like you and me. Remorse, compassion, reason - none of these things exist in their tortured souls. They are literally predatory animals, lions and tigers in the truest sense of the word. If you cross them (and I don't mean cross them as in confront them, I mean just simply happen to walk down the street in their general vicinity), they *will* kill you. They won't shoot you once and run away. They will put a few rounds in you, or stab you, and they'll do it again, and again, and again, and again, simply because they can. They'll do it to *watch* you die. And they don't care. They don't care that you are a nice guy, or that you have a family, or that you are just trying to make your way through the world the best you can. They. Don't. Care.

So therein lies the rub. Do you trust that you've been chosen by the "respectful and friendly" predator? The predator that will just take your wallet and jog on down the street? Or did you just run into the kind of predator that would just as soon see you bleeding out on the sidewalk as look at you. The predator who has absolutely no respect for life. The predator that will make sure you do not go home at night.

It's up to you. I'm not saying shoot anything that moves, but I am saying think through very carefully the situations you may be put into, and DO NOT make the mistake of projecting your emotional state and sentimentality onto your enemies. Over-estimating your enemy's humanity may just mean that it's your blood staining the sidewalk in front of a place you once considered safe and secure.

My personal goal, day in and day out, is to go home safe at night. I will do whatever it takes to maximize my chances to do so.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

With Friends Like This...

Who needs enemies???

From the linked article:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized Wednesday for saying Barack Obama is “talking down to black people” during what Jackson thought was a private conversation before a FOX News interview Sunday.

Jackson was speaking to a guest at the time about Obama’s speeches in black churches and his support for faith-based charities. Jackson added before going live, “I want to cut his nuts off.”

I'm by no means saying that dis-ingenuousness is unique to the far left, but between Clinton refusing to back out, and so called "allies" that support his campaign "unequivocally"saying things like can you possibly believe anything that involves politics any more?

Couple that with Libertarian *snort* Bob "I support Lautenberg Gun Control" Barr's shenanigans, and the fact that we all know McCain couldn't find Conservative values with a spotlight, what's left???

Is there any political party left with any degree of honesty, principles, and values???

A big thanks to David Codrea over at War on Guns for his excellent coverage of Bob Barr's gaffs. If you're creatively inclined, get in on the poster contest over there.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Government Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

What good can a handgun do against an army?

An excellent post from a fellow Blogger on the true role of guns in our society.

Current Quote

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." – Thomas Jefferson