Finally, A New Post…

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I haven’t posted to this site since January of this year. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’ve spent hours reworking the look and feel of the site, adding images and better navigation, but I haven’t written anything, aside from a new landing page.

So here is a post.

You would think that I would have so much stuff to write about that I couldn’t keep up. The year 2020 started out fairly normal, but between ridiculous impeachment farces, murder hornets, the “novel” coronavirus that is anything but novel, senseless violence and riots across the nation, the rise of petty tyrants in state and local governments, and this being an election year, there was indeed no shortage of things to write about. I just didn’t want to.

Every time I would start to write, the words invariably became harsh, angry, and unpleasant to read. Everything went into the digital dustbin, the zeros and ones scrambled to randomness. My mood since March when everything really started to get rolling with “the virus” and I was one of the lucky ones who could do their job remotely, has either been one of deleterious detachment, certain uncertainty, or simmering discontent. I should have felt immense gratitude that I could still work, still earn a paycheck, and not be wondering whether I could pay my mortgage or put food on my table.

I had every reason to be grateful, feel blessed, and thank my God that I was in the situation I was in. But…I didn’t. I said the words. I agreed with my friends who were in the same situation, as most of them were very grateful and said as much in our Zoom conversations. But…I wasn’t. I can’t explain why, anymore than I can explain calculus to a toddler (or anyone else, for that matter). It just wasn’t in me.

After committing to, and succeeding in writing and posting to this site for twenty-one consecutive days in January, I just stopped. The year had not yet even got rolling down the tracks toward the crazy train. I just remember that I was happy that I had written those twenty-one days and I was out of ideas. So began my slow, but inexorable slide into…my current state.

I’m trying to pull out of the slide.

Case in point, I’ve acquired a new hobby – woodworking. I’ve collected and organized a fairly good set of tools, completed my first big project (my workbench), am working on my second big project ( a new desk for my home office), and continue to be fascinated by the amount and quality of information available on the Internet. Between YouTube and other sites, I’ve learned a LOT about how to measure, cut and reconnect wood pieces together so they make things which are useful and attractive (still working on the attractive part).

Woodworking helps fill some of the void in my mood. I am awed by the output of the people on YouTube and other sites, sometimes by the absolute beauty of the work, and other times by the perfection in function. I try not to be discouraged by their success and keep reminding myself that I have just started taking baby steps in this hobby, so I have a long way to go.

Some of you who have read my blog before know that I write books, also. Well…I write parts of books. I can’t yet say I’ve written an entire book, much less had one published. Will I ever finish one? I have over ten in progress, everything from sci-fi and fantasy, to action thrillers, and even a romance. I don’t know the answer to that question. I hope so, if only for the satisfaction of completing something. 

If I am able to make myself continue posting here, expect a post about woodworking, possibly after I finish my current project, at least one post on this weirdest of election years, maybe another with an excerpt or a character sketch from one of my (incomplete) books, and maybe another “random thoughts” post like this one where I can attempt to unravel my current state of mind, or if things go well, report that I am once again mentally and emotionally in better health.

Not that anyone actually reads this blog…posting here is about the same as writing on my basement wall – no one will see it unless I specifically ask them to take a look.

Who knows? Anything could happen. If over-reaction to the virus doesn’t bankrupt us all, or we aren’t all overcome by murder hornets or assaulted by rioters, things could eventually turn around and 2020 end like any other year…but I’m not holding my breath.

 

Photo by boris misevic on Unsplash

Repost – My Inaugural Post on the WordPress Platform

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Here is another gem from the past – my first post after moving from Blogger to the WordPress platform. Like the previous repost, this one is a little raw, and after reading this post and my previous one, you may be done with my site, as my political leanings are spilled out all over everything. I urge you not to leave, but read some other posts, and have a dialogue with me through the comments. I won’t call you names as long as you reciprocate, and even if you do, I still won’t call you names, but I will post your comments in the Hall of Shame (that place where useless ad hominem attacks and silly name-calling go to be seen by everyone who checks out the site).

Inaugural Post Seems Random, But It Is An Allusion – originally posted April 4, 2013

Here I am!

I posted on my other blog over two weeks ago that I had a new blog site and that it would be more personal, close-to-my-heart topic oriented. I am covering a wide variety of topics in this post, but it really is not random, I promise.

First, I want to rant a little about the ongoing, immensely frustrating “ammo shortage”. I enjoy shooting, but now that I have come back around to focus on it, I can’t find ammo to shoot. It is ridiculous to go to my local Wal-Mart and not be able to find ammo of any kind except for my shotgun. I don’t have exotic firearms, just .22s, a .30-30 rifle, and a .45 1911 clone (and my shotgun). I should be able to get that ammo easily, and not pay through the nose for it. The last time I bought .22 ammo from a reputable reseller, I still spent $0.08 a round for it. The last box of .30-30 ammo I saw (at WalMart) worked out to a dollar a round.

I don’t think so.

I’ll just use my .22 rifle, which is a single-shot bolt-action, and shoot what I have very S-L-O-W-L-Y.

It is not that there is a shortage in actual supply, just that “entrepreneurs”are capitalizing on the fear that some gun owners have that they may not be able to buy ammo in the not so distant future. They snatch up large quantities of ammo and sell them on sites like GunBrokers.com for ridiculously inflated prices. As long as others continue to pay these prices, there will continue to be a “shortage”. Stop buying over-priced ammo!

Follow the advice offered in this YouTube video by “beelikestowatch” (Caution: In his passion he does use some coarse language)

Cool your heels and let the vultures eat their investments. Speaking of vultures…

While there are still highly flawed gun control bills floating around, both at the state level and the federal level, it looks as if we may scrape by this frenzy and return to some semblance of status quo – at least at the federal level. Some areas will be impacted by state legislation. Some states, namely Colorado,Connecticut, and New York along with others, have passed some nonsensical bills to limit magazine capacities, “strengthen” background checks (another illusion – more on that shortly), and introduce other mostly useless measures to improve gun control. Someone should tell them that “gun control” can only be improved at the range…

The next illusion I want to clear up is the so-called “generally supported” measure of improving background checks, now cloaked in the innocuous term “universal background checks”. These bill must be stopped. Think about it. The goal of these bills at the federal level is to make sure that criminal and “unfit” persons are not able to purchase guns, even in private transactions, much like it is in California now.

How is this accomplished?

In short, the government must first know about every gun currently owned. That means a database of guns, with all of the owner information included in those records. What happens after that? I can’t explain this any better than YouTube personality “nutnfancy”. Watch this video of his for an excellent description of the “universal background check” insanity.

Speaking of insane… would you believe that Our Dear Leader (POTUS), who has never had a budget to constrain him his entire presidency (good thing, too, as he would break it every time) and who has spent recklessly (to put it mildly) his entire tenure, has declared April “National Financial Capability Month”, with the stated goal of helping Americans learn how to live within a budget and make wise financial decisions.

You can’t make this stuff up!!!

Free political humor!!! You can read all about it here.

Enough said about that…

Finally, I want to end on a happy note (literally) by mentioning that if you are into smooth, well-mixed, ambient music, you should head over to Ambient Nights. While the site is in a bit of a transition, once you find the music (free forum registration is required) the journey through the site’s twists and turns is all worth it. Alex (the mixing genius behind Ambient Nights) works magic with the music there. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

(Sadly, it looks like the forum site is no longer accessible, but you can listen to this great music at MixCloud and as a bonus, it is easier to navigate than the forum site).

By the way, if you want more information from sources more “in the know” than me, check out “hickok45”, along with “nutnfancy” on YouTube and others that pop up in the recommendations after you watch one of their excellent videos. Get involved at the local level, contact your representatives and let them know what you believe, talk with other gun owners and keep pushing back against infringement on the Second Amendment.

Until I write again, stay safe, live life joyously, and always move forward (but not in that weird liberal “forward” way).

Repost – A Prescient Political Rant From Way Back When

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

The following is a now seemingly VERY prescient political rant from way back in the second Obama administration (and when I was blogging on the Blogger platform). The biggest difference between what was happening then and what is happening now is that our current crop of 2020 presidential candidates are now at least being honest about their intentions. The post is a bit raw, as I was really still developing my “voice”, but I wanted to show it “as-is”, if for no other reason than to show how little things change. Have a read, then rejoin me for a brief comment on current events at the bottom.

I do not think it means what you think it means… (originally posted April 17, 2013)

The relentless dialog from the Obama administration about gun control (and yes, I am shamefully gleeful that the POTUS is upset about the background check amendment failing) has consistently used two words that I feel are improperly applied.

Their use reminds me of a line from the movie “The Princess Bride”, based on the book of the same name by William Goldman, where one of the characters keeps interjecting the word “inconceivable” and, after several instances of this misapplication of the word, another character takes him to task with “You keep using that word – I do not think it means what you think it means.”

The words the Obama administration keeps using is “common sense”. While to me, a member of this administration using those words is “inconceivable”, especially the president, whose lack of common sense has devastated morale in this country, not to mention the economy. The application of “common sense” as in “we need to pass these common sense laws to protect Americans from gun violence” is just another tactic used by this waste of an administration to marginalize those who actually do have common sense about gun control.

If they label their legislation as “common sense” then what happens to the person who opposes it? They are instantly labeled as not having common sense by the sheep of this country who believe everything Obama says. Because the president of the United States and his lackeys all parrot the same words “common sense, common sense” those of us who actually have it are left to fight the label instead of having a logical conversation about what really is “common sense”.

Is it common sense to think that the police will be at your house in time to protect you from home invaders? Is it common sense to think that police are available in an instant to keep someone from robbing and murdering you in the street?

I submit, it is not.

While I have the utmost respect for the police officers I know and for the police in general, I know they are only human and not superheroes. They cannot be everywhere at all times, leaving the average citizen to protect themselves from those that would do them harm. To only allow criminals and law enforcement officers to have guns is most definitely NOT common sense.

My idea of common sense is in tune with the sign I saw on the door of a sporting goods store the other day. It stated that anyone entering the store should realize that all staff were armed and, instead of threatening violence against those who might cause trouble, it simply said after that, “be smart”. Common sense dictates that the store I entered had an extremely low probability of being robbed, even though the merchandise within was extremely valuable. Common sense dictates that those entering the store be mindful that every staff member had the proper tool to stop any attempt to pilfer.

But what really bothers me is what this administration is hiding behind those two words they are misusing. The expanded background checks they want are the first step to gun registration and confiscation. As much as they argue that the law explicitly prohibits this, logic and “common sense” still lead to this conclusion. To enforce these expanded background checks, particularly the ones aimed at private sales, the enforcing agency must first know what affected property is in circulation.

How is that done? Registration.

The argument that the majority of sales at gun shows do not involve a background check is pure fiction. The vast majority of sales at gun shows are between private citizens and dealers – who run a background check on anyone buying a firearm. A small percentage of private sales occur at these shows, but this is not where criminals buy their guns. These transactions are overwhelmingly between law-abiding citizens who happen to meet at the venue.

So please ignore the shallow, misused words “common sense” when the latest diatribe by the POTUS or his mouthpieces is broadcast by the liberal media. The proposals being offered are so much the opposite.

What to think? We still hear about passing “common sense” gun laws from every 2020 Democrat candidate, but some double down with even more nonsense. Francis “Beto” O’Rourke has made it known that he is after your “assault rifles” because there’s no use for them away from the battlefield. But don’t worry, the government isn’t confiscating them, they are “buying them back”, not that they ever owned them to be able to “buy them back”.

The only silver lining on this particular cloud is that “buy-back Beto” is polling a few decimal places south of one percent.

More on common sense later.

 

 

Photo by Lou Batier on Unsplash

About Life Getting In The Way…

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It’s funny how the life you want to live keeps getting interrupted by the life that is. Or maybe, it’s not that funny for you. I have to admit, it’s not that funny for me, but I’m set on moving forward.

It’s been months since I have posted, as usual. When last I posted, we were looking for a house, I was looking for some old blog posts, and everyone was looking for some sanity to come out of Washington D.C.. We did at least find a house, but as for those old blog posts and sanity from D.C., those have yet to be found.

Peter Mayhew and Rutger Hauer were still alive, but nobody knew Jan Michael Vincent was already dead (that was an odd one…).

I was determined to finish a book before NaNoWriMo kicked in again, but here it is, the cusp of October, and there is no way I will finish a book before November. Will I start a new one in November? Probably.

I am going to re-post some of my old entries. Actually, I have already done that. I dropped three re-posts right before writing this one. More to follow.

For the two of you who read this, I want you to know that I am re-dedicating to posting more consistently. I have a fairly full head right now, and in the absence of a pensieve, I’ll need to blog to remember it all.

A separate post is coming right up after this one, detailing some moderately deep thoughts about what I have been learning in my Christian walk over the past few months, from searching for a house to going through the life ordeal of seeing my daughter get married.

After that is another post, potentially quite controversial, about how I feel we as a church do a disservice to new believers before they even accept Christ. I will be opening up comments on this post as I really desire to know what others think.

What does the image above have to do with this post? Absolutely nothing…

Stay tuned.

An Update on My Site Rebuild

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As mentioned in my previous post, I am completely rebuilding this site and restoring old articles. I will probably skip my political rants, as they mostly refer to “The Great Divider’s” time in office. I’m referring to Obama, by the way, not Trump. Trump has his own issues, and I’ll probably address some of them once I start posting new blogs. I don’t think any president has done more to erase progress in race relations than Barack Hussein Obama, but I’m not chasing that thread right now, or ever again, if I can avoid it.

This site will not be primarily a political site, but I may have helped you decide whether you will continue reading my blog or not with that last statement, and that is OK. I don’t want you to continue reading under any illusions. I want you to know where I stand, and not just on politics. If I don’t, this blog is pointless.

I’ve posted a variety of articles over the years, writing about politics, writing, music, chess, religion, current events, and other topics. I’ll put the more interesting ones back on this site and let the others disappear into the digital dustbin. I plan to post more, and hopefully I can overcome my history of not updating this site. We’ll see.

I’ll present the articles I decide to repost in chronological order, putting the original post date at the top of the article. I know I can simply change the post date, because WordPress is awesome, but I don’t want to exactly recreate the old blog. I want to pull the best of it to this new site. I may scatter some new content in amongst the old posts, so bear with me as I cull through my old writings and repost the best.

Stay tuned.