Monday, February 27, 2012

On education...

In Washington, where for good or ill I live, one must have and maintain a license to teach in the public schools. To get this license, one must have various credentials and pass assorted tests and background checks.

I propose the addition of one small item to the requirements. The successful completion of a term of military service in the armed forces of the United States prior to being granted an initial license. I.e., in addition to a teaching degree a potential licensee would need to present a DD-214 marked "honorable discharge".

Current teachers are unaffected by this wee change. As time goes on, I suggest a cultural change may occur.

My experience of veterans, while anecdotal, has been largely positive. And I find that the percentage "common sense per capita" of my limited sampling is notably higher than that of the general population. I'd suggest this is the culture we want passed on, rather than a power-blended mixture of anti-American liberalism/green propaganda/anthropogenic global warming cultism.

Beyond that, I'm fairly ok with the notion that if someone puts in their 3-6 years of service where they are potentially in harms way...that they have "dibs" on a fair chunk of public sector jobs. Teaching, postal service, etc. Things that need doing, but that can be springboards to greater success.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

A .38 S&W, a New American, & History

It followed me home from the Monroe Gun Show...

What I know so far - this .38S&W Colt Police Positive looks to have been born in 1941, cylinder lock is a little iffy, and the barrel looks to me to have suffered a chop job. Otherwise, seems fairly original. Research in progress, and will be talking to a couple of folks about light restoration to "safe to fire" and such.

There is pitting in the chambers, and the barrel has *traces* of rifling left. Exterior of the gun shows extensive pitting. Grips are original walnut and fairly good shape and the lanyard ring of all things is intact.

My current notion is to get the Colt Letter, and seriously consider new barrel and cylinder. Grips
look original (yet surprisingly badly fitted).

My best friend became a citizen this last Wednesday and is finally opening to the notion of learning to shoot (though he still can't imagine owning a functional one) - but was very pleased when I told him this would be his as a "welcome aboard" gift.

More to follow...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Annual re-post - Garlic Chicken Soup of Doom

Garlic Chicken Soup of Doom re-posting

I usually repost this once or twice a year, when colds and flu are especially dreadful. Tastes good, and tends to clear crud out of a persons head'n'chest for about 45 minutes if made properly. Good Luck!

Garlic Chicken Soup of Doom

2 Large Cans Campbells Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup*
1 lb Boneless Chicken Breasts, cubed to ½” to ¼”
1 8 oz. Can peas
1 8 oz. Can carrots
1 8 oz. Can sliced potatoes
1 8 oz Can Kidney Beans
2½ c. Chopped Garlic
6 tbsp Oregano
6 tbsp Basil
Chili Powder
Tabasco Sauce
Olive Oil

Coat the bottom of a large fry pan with olive oil. Add 3 tbsp of chopped garlic, 2 tbsp Oregano and Basil, and sauté over low heat until garlic shows just a hint of brown, stirring occasionally. Add chopped chicken breasts, stir vigorously until intermingled thoroughly with spices, then continue to stir occasionally until the chicken is cooked white all through.

Meanwhile, drain all vegetables and place in large crock pot (slow cooker) with Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup. Add water to within 2" of top of pot. Throw in a couple of handfuls of pasta to thicken, if desired. Add remaining garlic and spices at this time, put crock pot on high setting.

When chicken is sautéed white all through, dump entire fry pan contents into crock pot, stirring in. Simmer for at least one hour.
Returning, take test sip. Add garlic until the soup begins to taste salty. Then add another tablespoon.

Now, add chili powder and Tabasco GENTLY, a bit at a time, until when you take a test sip it goes down smoothly…but you feel a distinct heated bite at the back of your throat after imbibing. (Note, if you over do, just let the soup boil down a bit, add some more water and pasta, let that boil down – repeat as needed…and all will be well).

*substitute any preferred chicken stock, and if substituting fresh vegetables rather than canned, be sure to increase cook time for proper spice saturation.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Laptops, Guns, Teenagers & Catholic Pundits

On seeing a particularly annoying faux pas in the National Catholic Reporters coverage of Tim Jordan's approach to his daughters errors with social media, I had to write the below.

My little rant may even appear in their comments - but I think it may suffer "reasoned discourse". My comments are below...

A technical correction.

45mm would equal 1.77 inches (rounded).

Anything hurling a projectile of that volume at any significant speed is going to be a crew served or otherwise deeply non-portable (think "mortar" or "light artillery") device.

What Mr. Jordan utilized, for good or ill, were .45acp (Automatic Colt Pistol, muzzle diameter 45/100 of 1" or 11.43mm, with projectiles ranging in weight between 185 and 250 grains) cartridges.

These, in turn, were fired out of a variant on the M1911A1 pistol (introduced to U.S. military service in 1911, carried as primary service weapon through the late 1980's).

Regrettably, in the teen years sweet reason will occasionally fail even the most skilled of parents with the most compliant of offspring and a more transactional approach will become necessary to both teach the fundamental concept of "action=consequence" as well as more immediate lessons around specific actions being prohibited or controlled.

To the extent that such transactional approaches can be kept at the social level (grounding, etc), so much the better. However, in some instances some variant on denial of property is at least as effective, if not moreso, in communicating a behavior or action is unacceptable.

I'm of mixed views regarding Mr. Jordan's approach. I certainly think he is within the realm of reason to demand the daughter pay for the expenses (in my eyes, the cost of the mis-used laptop + any software + labor + ammunition), but would tend to argue a better path might have been to seize and sell the offending laptop and for Mr. Jordan to simply buy himself a new firearm.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Starbucks Adventure

I made it over to Starbucks at about 11:30am..with a Glock 21 open-carried (hey, if I'm trying to send a message, I am not a subtle creature) and chatted up the staff - they'd heard of the buycott, but I was the first one in. Might be because this location is on a busy road.

I was sorry to hear one Starbucks mistreated a 2A visitor, and look forward to hearing of corrective action. Take a gander at the first comment by "Dana McClure".

Most folks seem to have had good experiences on this little venture.

Other posters I or others have found are:

And many more...that I don't have time or inclination to hunt down. Good job, all...and remember, we're not "winning" until an anti-gun bigot is commonly greeted with all the grace, courtesy, and affection as a Klansman in full drag showing up at an NAACP convention...

Even later to the Meme Wagon

JayG posts up his 5 "money is no object" guns, and I'll do the same with mine with the same assumptions - if I'm sufficiently well off to afford these toys, I'm sufficiently well off to feed them regularly.

5. Gatling Gun

Call me sentimental, but in terms of historical value and just downright "pretty", a classic Gatling wins my heart. This reproduction by U.S. Armament would be just fine.

4) M2 Browning

Another old warhorse, the classic "Ma Deuce" in .50 BMG has served U.S. and foreign forces since 1921 and would thrill my heart to have tucked away in the safe or blazing away on the range.

3) A certain nameless organization is rolling out an astonishingly ornate 1911 with a truly impressive warranty. WANT.

2) The Ultimate BBQ Gun Pair - a pair of luridly engraved STI Tactical 5.0, with a gloss bluing and gold inlay - and a set of rhinestone grips. The base gun is pictured below. Between capacity and a simply frightening level of tacky...

Image Courtesy of STI International

1) If I'm truly without fiscal limit, why....

This fine vessel as the lead ship in Stingray's Privateer Fleet sounds like an amusing start to the day as we sail off to an extended cruise off the shores of Somalia. MWHAHAHAHA...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Canada & Culinary Adventure

Decided to take a risk and *meet* someone up in Canada. Who, and activities pursued will be left politely non-specific, but needless to was a very nice weekend, and leads me to believe that my semi-hermitage should, just perhaps, be relaxed a tad.

Nonetheless, he'd mentioned an odd dish that sounded interesting - so in the spirit of culinary adventure, I ventured forth with him to try this odd new dish "poutine".

Emerging out of Quebec (allegedly in the mid-1950's) it's apparently fairly common across Canada today. The basics are fries, gravy, and cheese curds with assorted optional ingredients added.

We visited a poutine place on Davies in Vancouver, B.C. that shall remain nameless. We both had different varieties. In retrospect, I should have been concerned the moment I saw "vegan gravy" proudly displayed. Within a few hours he was feeling poorly, and my gut was a ticking time bomb.

I have not had such adventure since my initial adventures in Ethiopian cuisine. About midnight, as we were completing the B.C. Bar Tour - my endurance expired and we headed back to the hotel, where I sequestered myself for what I believed would be a brief moment in the restroom.

My gut had other plans. Vesuvius erupted with all the violence and flame-based sensation of the after effects of a Thai 5-star curry w/ the shrimp gone bad...reducing me, by the end, to the occasional whimper and trembling hopes that an end was in sight.

Needless to say, this rather crushed amatory hopes for the evening...and my respect and affection for my amatory partner are only enhanced by his understanding and kindness as I lay there afterwards...exhausted and in pain...with little or no desire to move, let alone pursue bedroom adventure.

I am, however, deeply grateful about the whole issue of timing. Things could have been FAR more traumatic all the way around.

I do believe that this establishes poutine, at least for the forseeable future, firmly on the list of foods that are *not* my friends. This may ALSO establish that "new culinary adventures on a first weekend" are a bad choice.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

WA & Same Sex Marriage: The Referendum Edition

They have to gather the signatures first. They may (or may not) be able to gather the signatures - but that is the first battle line.

Once they turn in the signatures and begin elections reporting, we must publicize both signers and donors - so that we and our supporters may refuse to do business with or employ signers and/or donors.

Finally, should the opposition turn in sufficient VALID signatures for a referendum - we must make our case to our fellow citizens while not shooting ourselves in the foot.

As a petition signer or donor to a political campaign we surrender a certain measure of our privacy in order to act as citizen legislators - with the policy trade off that the prospect of public shame may deter some less well-advised initiative/referendum/donation choices, and that publicity gives us the transparency to independently verify signatures and know who is trying to buy which election.

Not surprisingly, I favor LGBT marriage both personally and for reasons of policy. I'd favor even more getting .GOV out of the marriage business entirely, but given that I expect armies of flying monkeys to erupt from Rick Santorum's ...ummm....unexpected location shortly before that happens, it looks like 2nd prize is marking sure my community gets the same set of benefits as the hetero kids.

And Lyle? Think of being refused the right to visit with or make decisions for your ill spouse in a hospital or nursing home; of being told that a business you'd spent 40 years building together and the house you paid for....were going to the family that gave you endless crap for that 40 years and you needed to find a nice gutter to live in. Then there's the joy of being coerced to testify against ones partners. And medical benefits. And immigration law, etc ad nauseum. Best of all, think of a 20 year relationship that's gone south...and no legal recourse on how to split up the goodies.

Marriage is the best route, rather than coming up with or settling for some back of the bus "domestic partnership" thing with a different definition in every state that honors it, and haphazard reciprocity at best. Kind of like your marriage was treated like a CPL when you travel.

Neat, eh?