Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Ride, cant, position, you-name-it, this holster redefines adjustable. I carry a bobtail Commander 1911 appendix IWB, and the All Around works better than any other holster I have for getting everything just right. The belt clip allows just enough wiggle to keep it comfortable while not letting it move out of position. Molding to the gun is excellent with firm retention. Drawing requires a firm, positive move. It is impossible to shake the gun out of the holster upside-down, even fully loaded with Dummunition for maximum weight.
After I wear it a little more, I'll probably use the ol' hair dryer to shape the Kydex at the top to conform more closely to the safety and rear of the slide. I might also shape it a bit at the muzzle, since it can dig in when I move around.
The clip is very secure but kind of clunky, but with it attached by Velcro I can easily replace it with any alternative attachment my devious little mind can contrive. It also gave me the idea of using self-adhesive Velcro to attach a leather backing to a few of my other Kydex IWB holsters to improve comfort and keep me from sweating on my gun.
For sheer versatility, functionality, and practicality, this thing's a winner.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Since they love it so much, I decided that would be their Christmas dinner (I celebrate Yule, not Christmas, but take full advantage of the days off to do the "heavy lifting"). Since I store the dogs' food in the barely-heated foyer and I happened to have canned tripe on hand, I opened the cans and set them on the woodstove to warm up.
Really cold green tripe has very little odor. When the tripe was nice and warm, I thought my residual head cold was protecting me from the awfulness. Unfortunately, the rate at which it warms up and stinks appears to equal the rate of human olfactory fatigue. I found this out the hard way after I fed the dogs and went outside to do some chores.
When I came back in the house, I walked into a nearly tangible wall of stench. I've worked in a slaughterhouse and a morgue without any difficulty at all, but this was nearly enough to make me hurl. Generous use of bayberry candles and fresh orange peel (aided no doubt by the aforementioned olfactory fatigue) eventually rendered the house habitable, but I still hung my jackets outside for the rest of the day.
I found the following essay years ago on the Greyhound-L mail list. I think it was originally written by a member of the Dogwood Rottweiler Club, but their website is currently down. If the site comes back, I will verify and attribute. Whatever its source, though, it accurately describes Green Tripe In A Can in all its horrific glory.
Tripe In A CanFortunately, the horses' favorite delicacies weren't disgusting. Baby carrots, cut-up apples, and Mrs. Pasture's Horse Cookies are all favorites. None of my current herd like peppermints, oddly enough, and weird old Max refuses anything except his normal Triple Crown Senior.
You know, I used to think I was tough. That I could handle just about anything! After all, I LAUGHED at fresh Green Tripe!
So it was with much joy when I discovered that one could BUY Fresh Green Tripe, in a CAN!
How novel, I thought! No more mess, no more fuss, just open a can, and feed Green Tripe on demand.
Of course I ordered from this company immediately! And not just one or two cans, but a case! Mind, you, I'm no simpleton! After all, It's Fresh Green Tripe. In a CAN!
So today, that Santa Claus of the mail system UPS came to my door and delivered a LARGE brown box. With a satisfied "Ahh Haaa!!!" I hoisted my prize high over my head and carried it inside, Max following along, sniffing at the box, tail wagging. After all, he knew it was for him!
"What's in the box??" my 13 year old son asked.
"Fresh GREEN tripe! In a can!" I stated emphatically. "A case of it!" What a smart consumer I was indeed! (Oooh! Ooohh! Tim Allen grunt!)
Finally the moment I had waited for, came, later in the evening. Max's dinner time. We put the normal raw beef heart, some veggies, Hokamix, flaxseed meal, and a wee bit of kibble in his dish, but the crowning moment was about to happen.
As I looked longingly at the can, it felt almost like a solemn occasion. "Now you will see some good stuff!" I smiled as I positioned the can into the electric can opener. Clink, Chink Whhhhrrrrrrrr!!
Went the can opener. For a brief moment in time, it felt as though time itself had stopped, so intent were we to see this wondrous marvel of modern science. Green Tripe in a can, why it was almost as if we were discovering the lost Ark of the Covenant. Dog, Child and myself were held in awe. With a final CHINK! The can lid was released… And then I smelled something.
"What is THAT?!?!" my son exclaimed. One of our cats who had been sitting by the kitchen door, quickly sidled out. She was smart.
"Green Tripe, in a can…" I tried to sound parental and authoritative, but I could feel the first churning of my stomach.
The dog's eyes were on me intently, like two laser beams.
With a daring poke, I took off the lid to the can. And then it hit us. "Oh Geeeshhhh!!!!" and then my normally angelic son cursed for the first time, in my presence, "What the $&%@ is that *@#*???!!!"
And with that he ran away.
AT that point a smell hit me, so foul, so putrefied and grotesque, that bathing in fresh skunk spray would have been a pleasure. A smell so rancid, that it made a raw sewage plant in a hot southern sun, smell nice.
I felt my insides roil dangerously.
Max now had two long lines of drool that hung from his mouth, and with a sickening slurp! He licked his lips, willing me to give him what was in that can.
"You're sick," I said to him through clenched teeth. I had to clench them or else I knew my dinner would be revisiting at that very moment.
This Green Tripe in a can was nothing like the fresh tripe I had dealt with. No, this stuff was insidious, vile, and deadly. The US Military should use it as a biological weapon. I could see squadrons of men falling before this stuff.
I held the can at arms length like radioactive plutonium and gingerly waggled it over the dog's dish, aiming for his food bowl. Sluuuurrrrk!!! It made a sickening noise as it slid out of the can. By now my vision was clouded, and I could have sworn I saw GREEN vapors leaking out of the can, like some mad scientist's experiment gone wrong.
I thrust the dogs dish down, and he immediately threw himself into eating it, like a starving man at a banquet.
"Aaaaaaaacck!" was all I managed to say, as I WILLED myself not to hurl my cookies. "Steve! Help me! Find the plastic lid cover!" I cried plaintively to my son.
"Nuh-uh!" he screamed from somewhere deep in the house, "That stuff REEKS!"
Now it was my turn to come up with colorful expletives as I dug up a plastic lid cover to try and hide the horrible bomb that had been unleashed in the house. I just KNEW that the smell would be forever imbedded in my walls, my furniture, my cat's fur, and thanks to the central AC, the putrefying fragrance was being spread to all corners of the house.
Finally in disgust I managed to cover the can and thrust it into the refrigerator. The dog had finished his dinner, and stood looking at me, as though hoping for more. I knew I would be sterilizing the dogs dish, and probably his mouth with hot water. Heck I may just throw them both in an autoclave. If a hurricane hit my house now, it would not have been a bad time. It may even clear the air. I realized now why they called it GREEN tripe. It was. And it was in a can. And it was deadly.
Five hours later, the smell STILL lingers around, in cruel little whiffs. But hey, who am I to complain, I was smart, right? After all, I only have 11 and 1/2 cans to go, of Green Tripe in a CAN!
I'm afraid I just can't bring myself to give Milton The EvilPony™ his favorite treat in cold weather. He absolutely loves Edy's frozen strawberry bars.
"(He’s) been arrested for burglary, theft, various assaults, felony terroristic threats and other offenses of that nature," said (Omaha Police officer Michael) Pecha.In this latest home invasion, Birge and two accomplices fired shots at a person running away from them. Gee, felon in possession. Which gun control law would have prevented that?
Other items on his list of accomplishments include burglary, theft, various assaults, felony terroristic threats and sexual assault. OPD says they'd like to get him off the street.
What I'd like to know is, why is this ambulatory fecal matter even ON the street???
Monday, December 13, 2010
Oh no, that driver just keeps on going. The truck stops abruptly as the driver finally sees the oncoming car. The car's driver screeches to a halt, rolls down the window, and starts yelling at the pickup driver complete with hand gestures. Mr. Car Driver apparently thinks Mr. Pickup Driver is Number 1, sort of.
The rear of the car is covered with bumper stickers: Obama '08, Nebraska Democratic Party, COEXIST, Nebraskans For Peace, a big "equal" sign, something espousing Tolerance. Heh.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
It has the classic teensy safety, vestigial sights, and hand-ripping tang, and so is not particularly pleasant to shoot. I only actually shot it a few times before making the leap to .45's, and it's just been sitting in the safe ever since.
My question is, should I send it in to be reworked and refinished as a shooter or keep it an all-original safe queen?
Friday, November 26, 2010
After their malfunctioning "No Weapons" signs failed to prevent this, I would have thought they'd fix them.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
We were working about mid-range and the only ambient light was from the viewing room windows. With light only coming from behind the gun, the front sight appeared totally black. When using my Surefire E2D 200-lumen LED light, the fiber-optic insert became totally academic as the silhouette of the sights stood out clearly against the brightly illuminated targets. Working without lights, my sights were essentially invisible until they picked up my muzzle flash.
In normal light the sights are taking some getting used to, but do work very well. My hits were good from the start and got better as the class progressed despite fatigue and adrenaline. I had some problems with my Wilson not locking open on an empty mag (the same thing I sent it back to have fixed) during the flashlight drills, but I feel I was probably limp-wristing with the gun held in one hand and the flashlight in the other. During all two-handed shooting the gun ran perfectly.
The tactical medicine portion of the class was excellent. We were each given a Tac Med Solutions Downed Operator Kit and hands-on work with training versions of its components.
My CERT training in disaster medicine gave me an edge in the surprise force-on-force exercise that followed. This was the first FoF scenario I've ever done that included administering emergency medical care to a victim. It was a very valuable experience, and more training opportunities in this area would be greatly appreciated. And since the syllabus made no mention of a FoF drill, there was no opportunity to
One thing I'm noticing after training with multiple training providers is how much of their material can conflict. Exposure to a variety of techniques is great, especially with instructors who explain where those techniques came from and why they work, but it makes for some awkward moments when what you're expected to do in class is diametrically oppposed to a technique you've practiced extensively for months or years.
Oh yeah, and nothing makes you feel more like a doorstop in a training class than a fellow student who's an Army Ranger turned police officer.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sarge was on house arrest for two weeks. Thank goodness I only had to do the twice-a-day antibiotics for five days this time instead of ten like Judge. It's amazing how many messy and destructive ways an active four-year-old (of any species) can devise to stay amused.
No sooner did Sarge get sprung from solitary than Milton The EvilPony™ showed up with what looked like a large pimple or small abscess on his upper lip. I found it the hard way when it splurted while I was haltering him. Just dandy: Milton seriously distrusts anything involving physical restraint.
Usually when something like that bursts it drains and heals. No such luck. Instead, Milton quickly sprouted a second oozing hole. I called the vet. Guess what he found?
Those are two huge wood splinters that were buried under the outer skin of Milton's upper lip. An EvilPony™ stick his nose where it didn't belong? No, he'd never do that.
Both equines are doing fine now. My checkbook, not so much. Dentals For Everyone Day ran me $784, quite a bargain considering. I haven't got the bill for Milton yet, but I'm expecting around $300 for that little adventure. Not all that long ago, Judge's tumor removal bill was almost $600.
Which brings me back to one of my perpetual rants. Horses are a huge responsibility. Craigslist and other dumping grounds are overflowing with the helpless victims of people who can't or won't understand that simple fact.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
We're not quite there yet. VOTE!!
"Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way that you can quickly understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic. Someone over there has it figured out. It was translated into English from an article in the Prague newspaper Prager Zeitungon on 04.28.2010.'Nuff said.
"'The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president.'"
Monday, November 1, 2010
Two years ago, Dear Leader was elected by a scant 52%-48% majority. Less than a third of registered Republicans bothered to show up. I'm not saying McCain was a great alternative by any means, but I doubt he could have effed things up as badly as the
Like it or not, we still have (more or less) free elections in this country. Friends who have become US citizens after escaping truly horrific repressive regimes are incredulous that so many Americans ignore their voting rights.
Just as with the right to effective self-defense, incrementalism works both ways. This country didn't get in the toilet overnight, and it won't get out overnight. Job One is to do everything we can to break the current force monopoly in Congress. After that, we need to hold the replacements accountable, and vote them out if or when they fail.
Linoge points us to an excellent discussion of the resistance continuum. We still have many, many ways to work within the ballot box before the cartridge box is our only recourse. We have an absolute obligation to exhaust every single one of those ways first. Sitting out elections is not the way to do so.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
And how much is INR 15 lakh? The word lakh means 100,000. At current exchange rates, INR 15 lakh = INR 1,500,000 = US$33,608.93.
That doesn't include money spent on this side of the pond. When
And where did all this money come from? Your taxpayer dollars and mine.
Midterm elections are six days away. Time to start chipping away at the rot.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Those measures, like rape whistles, assume there will be somebody else around to observe the crime-in-progress and call for an appropriate response. The obedient drones who swallow everything their betters hand out have properties that look like a Wal-Mart parking lot at night.
But what if you live out in the country where nocturnal passers-by are few and far between, or your so-called "neighbors" would be more likely to celebrate than call for help if you were murdered in your sleep? Then, removing obstacles and having lots of outside lighting just makes the bad guys' jobs easier.
Anyone coming on my place at night will be unable to negotiate the woods without making noise, and they'll need to use their own lights. Both those things will make them conspicuous. My dogs alert on noises in the underbrush, and they notice moving lights in strange places. Their job is to sound the alarm, and my job is to take it from there.
So I have a high degree of confidence that anyone attempting unannounced entry into my house at 2:00 am is a legitimate threat. I'm not about to make it easier for that attempted entry to be without warning.
I live thirty miles south of the nearest metropolitan area, and the orange glow of their sodium vapor street lights fills my northern sky. Don't even think of doing any amateur astronomy out here. The vacant house across the road has a mercury vapor yard light that I can see clearly from my bed when the trees are leafless. I close my drapes, but it's still disturbing.
She addressed me as "Missus."
How dare you assume I'm married?
Fools make assumptions all the time. Their little minds are made up, and they assume everyone fits into their little boxes. Here's a wake-up call to all the fools out there, a significant number of whom occupy positions of public trust:
- How dare you assume I'm a christian because I belong to the NRA.
- How dare you assume I'm a redneck because I own guns.
- How dare you assume I worship some christian devil because I'm a Witch.
- How dare you assume I'm a liberal
DemonratDemocrat because I'm a woman.
- How dare you assume I have chronic health problems and take multiple prescription drugs because I'm on the high side of forty.
- How dare you assume I'm looking for an assisted living center for the same reason.
- How dare you assume I'm incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle for the same reason again. Two years ago when my driver's license was up for renewal, the DMV sent me a pamphlet asking if it was time for me to hang up the car keys. Could I turn my head, read and understand road signs, sit for more than ten minutes, did I get lost in familiar places? Fercryinoutloud, people, I'm middle-aged, not enfeebled and afflicted with dementia.
- How dare you assume I'm mentally defective because I'm not just like you.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Can you think of any better reason to impeach the bastard?
Sunday, October 10, 2010
When it stopped locking open on an empty mag, my first thought was pilot error. I had several respected friends including two professional gunsmiths look it over, and they all agreed wear on the slide stop and slide were the true culprits. So I called Wilson and made the appointment.
What I found interesting was everyone agreed they'd never seen anyone with a custom Wilson actually shoot it as much as I do. I can't imagine having a gun built expressly to your shooting and carrying preferences and then not shooting and carrying it. There is plenty of wear visible on the gun, outside and inside. Honorable scars, just as with working dogs and horses. I hope they'll consider them honorable scars.
Until it comes back, I'm carrying my Government-size Wilson CQB. It's a major pain to switch to a longer barrel, especially when you carry appendix IWB.
I'm also sufficiently bummed that I'm considering picking up a Dan Wesson VBOB with the black "duty finish" as a spare carry gun. I seriously considered their CBOB before I ordered my bobtail Commander from Wilson, but the CBOB only came in stainless. I have to do too many stealth transitions between holster and lockbox to ever want to carry anything other than an all-black gun. Nothing has driven home the value of a bobtail frame for carry like having to go back to a standard frame.
As long as it's in the shop, I'm having the rear sight switched out for one of these. I've wanted a rear sight with a cocking ledge for easier one-handed gun manipulations for a long time.
Oh well, they told me it should be back in a week. It's gonna be a looooong week.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Protect yourself, because the
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
The majority of that mail is junk clearly designed to trick gullible old f@rts into signing up for various "services" that will cost them money.
Prescription drug plans, chronic-care plans, Medicare supplement plans, who-knows-what plans sending her documents that read at first glance like she has already enrolled and just needs to “update” some (personal, financial) information and sign on the dotted line. Trouble is, she hasn't enrolled in any of them. I'm the only person who can enroll her in anything or sign on her behalf, so I know.
These crooked corporations wouldn't send out so many of these misleading mailings of there wasn't serious money to be made. How they can look at themselves in the mirror when they profit from bleeding old people on fixed incomes dry I will never know.
Well, there is one thing I can do besides feeding this crap to the shredder. I file mail fraud complaints with the United States Postal Inspection Service.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
On the second day of classroom instruction, Mr. Ayoob discussed the physical and emotional aftermath of a defensive gun use. As he listed the effects someone who has had to shoot in self-defense should expect, I realized they were things I experience every day but have come to think were normal. Then he described how post-shooting police officers who have the same symptoms don't recognize them either. The ton of bricks hit me, big time.
A single extremely traumatic event causes many of the same difficulties as post-traumatic stress. The only difference is in the latter case, the trauma is endured for months or years instead of minutes. What I discovered was while I thought I had done such a good job of dealing with my personal trauma, it wasn't anywhere near as behind me as I thought.
My first reaction was feeling like a failure and a fraud, that all these years I had been lying to myself and everyone else. My family did everything in their power all my life to convince me I was worthless and I should be grateful they tolerated me at all. Others tolerated me only because they didn't know the "truth" and they would abandon me as soon as they saw through my facade. My role in the family was "scapegoat" and that indoctrination made me attractive to people looking for easy victims.
When that old pattern showed up again, I felt like I had also failed to beat my family's destructive indoctrination. Failure again. See where this mess was going?
I spent that night mostly in the bathroom, getting pretty much no sleep. A great way to hit the range the next day. Monday's first live-fire day was a waking nightmare. I was in full-on adrenaline dump the whole time, shaking so hard I could barely hold my gun. My bobtail Commander Wilson wouldn't lock the slide back on an empty mag, so I shot the rest of the class with my Government-size Wilson CQB.
I shot like crap. No, I would have had to do better to shoot like crap. I had run out of adrenaline by Tuesday, and spent that day in parasympathetic crash, spaghetti arms and everything. Even so, I managed to do a bit better than on Monday, and passed the qualifier.
So what's the bottom line here? I don't know yet. I am dealing with the old problem of "shoulding" on myself: I "should" have beaten this crap by now, I "should" have better control over my life, blah, blah, blah. Thanks to the information provided in the class, I have new directions to explore toward really overcoming what happened to me.
Or maybe the lesson is that some things you never fully can forget. Maybe they stay around forever. Maybe I need to learn how to turn these weaknesses into strengths. Maybe this is one more example of the destination being the journey.
This isn't your typical After Action Report. In deference to the usual model, I will say that Mr. Ayoob is a tremendous speaker and the legal information provided in this class is absolutely essential for anyone who has and carries guns for self-defense. What comes after the shooting may well be worse than the violent criminal action that precipitated it. It gives one pause to truly reconsider what using the most effective tools to preserve innocent life really means. And that is a good thing.
There was a great guest lecture by Bill Laughridge of Cylinder & Slide, one of the top pistolsmiths in the country. He described the evolution of our modern defensive handguns, and what features help and hinder their safe and effective use.
I brought a new 70-page narrow-ruled notebook to the classroom portion of the training, and nearly filled it. I'm glad I decided against bringing my netbook, because I could barely write fast enough to get everything down, never mind typing.
The live-fire sessions were also extremely valuable, despite being something of a blur to me under the circumstances. It was a great opportunity to experience shooting under extreme stress in safe surroundings. Nothing like actually experiencing how that affects your skill. As Mr. Ayoob said, we should expect some "post-LFI stress syndrome" for just that reason. I just got a bigger dose than anyone else. I absolutely want to take the MAG-40 again, once I come to better terms with what I learned about myself in this one.
Mr. Ayoob was also presented with a certificate signed by Governor Dave Heineman appointing him to the rank of Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska. Governor Heineman has proven himself a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
I cannot fully express my thanks to Massad Ayoob and Gail Pepin (aka "The Evil Princess") for this training experience. I might, however, respectfully suggest that Mr. Ayoob consult with his opthalmologist after referring to me in passing as a "baby fox."
Friday, August 27, 2010
Massad Ayoob went over the jury selection process in the classroom portion of the MAG-40 class I took earlier this week. He explained how "lightweight yuppies" are considered ideal candidates. The last thing they want on juries are people who have experienced violence and who have made a committment to never letting it happen again.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
No custom ROM yet, just Android 2.2 FRG01B with root access. At least I can now actually back up my data, not just the apps.
Verizon is supposedly pushing out FRG22, but nobody I know has seen it yet. Now I don't care if they ever do. Life is good.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Why, then, do those same reasonable and rational gun folks so often act just like the panty-wetting hoplophobes where snakes are concerned?
I see it on blog after blog, forum after forum. People who decry the closed-minded screeds of those who do not or will not learn the truth about guns cheerfully talk about killing snakes on sight simply because they are snakes. A few distinguish between venomous and non-venomous species, allowing the former to live but slaughtering the latter. All express a deep-seated loathing of suborder Ophidia. I find none of these attitudes defensible. The overwhelming majority of snakes are harmless, incapable of inflicting injury on a human more severe than a paper cut.
I don't fear guns, I respect them. I strictly observe the protocols necessary for handling and using them safely. I don't fear dangerous snakes, I respect them. And just as with guns, strictly adhering to safety protocols in their presence prevents serious injury or death. When out in venomous snake country, wear proper clothing. Watch where you walk, sit, and put your hands. Maintain good situational awareness. Sound familiar?
Recently, a fool in Papillion, Nebraska, died after his red-tailed boa constricted around his neck. That incident was just as preventable as the "accidents" that happen when idiots disregard Col. Cooper's Four Rules.
Just as with guns, ignoring the basic safety rules around dangerous snakes can lead to serious injury or death. Large constrictors must never be handled alone. Putting one around your neck is as stupid and dangerous as pointing a loaded gun at your face. Anyone familiar with the "rear naked choke" knows how little it takes to incapacitate or kill a person by applying pressure to certain areas of the neck. The snake lacks the anatomical features we exploit when learning counters to chokeholds. Unwinding a constrictor must be done starting from the tail and working forward. It's impossible to remove one from your body starting from the snake's head.
The current python problem in Florida is not the snakes' fault, but just as with green iguanas, was caused by irresponsible people failing to keep their exotic pets confined or deliberately dumping them into the wild. Unfortunately, the climate there is ideally suited for both of these creatures, and that combined with no natural predators have made them victims of their own success.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Since there is no loose skin to suture inside a horse's ear or on the hairless part of the dock of the tail, both sites have to heal as open wounds. Despite the whole ear tumor being bigger than a golf ball, its point of attachment was only about the size of my thumbnail and did not involve the ear cartilage. That spot is nearly healed already.
The site of the tail tumor is not nearly so small and neat. In order to get good margins, Judge has a divot a bit over two inches across that goes well into the muscle. I'm treating it with Granulex V spray, plus Judge has ten days' worth of twice-daily Trimethoprim/Sulfadiazine tablets.
The vet came out to the barn to do the surgery because after all our trailer loading practice, when it was time to haul him to the clinic Judge wouldn't load. He's always been very well-behaved and cooperative, but in recent months he's been aloof and short-fused. Thoroughbreds are more normally reactive than most other breeds, and I attributed the rest of the behavioral changes to his moving up through the ranks in the herd. He's now the dominant gelding and thinks himself to be quite the ladies' man.
According to the available literature, equine melanoma is not painful. I could touch either of the tumors without Judge showing any sign of discomfort. But despite those facts, now that they're both gone Judge is back to his old cooperative self.
When we were trying to get Judge loaded, there was no shortage of "helpful" advice. The horse is being a pig, the horse is disrespectful, you need to get after him and make him mind. I now know those tumors, especially the one in his ear, were bothering him more than I thought. I feel absolutely awful for not doing something about the tumors sooner, despite normal veterinary advice being to leave melanomas alone unless absolutely necessary since surgery can cause otherwise localized masses to metastasize.
So I owe Judge a huge apology. The ear tumor is going in for histopath, since it was an atypical melanoma. It's way too soon to tell how fast the tumors will return, since most melanomas do. But regardless of the tumors' size or appearance, I will take action at the first sign of change from normal behavior.
I broke one of my own cardinal rules here: that horses never do anything without a good reason, and any time a horse is resistant look for a physical cause first. Judge's personality change was from physical discomfort, pure and simple. I won't make that mistake again.
Punishing Judge for being a disrespectful pig would have accomplished nothing except making him more miserable than he already was. He probably would have (justifiably) started avoiding me altogether. Removing the tumors fixed his behavior, not inflicting negative reinforcement and positive punishment.
The horse does not lie. We humans just have to be willing to hear the truth.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The way they do jury duty now is you call a toll-free number on Friday to find out if you need to appear at any time during the following week. I called in last Friday and they said I didn't have to show up for anything this week.
Are we surprised?
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Sorry about the crappy cellphone picture. As usual, the "real" camera's batteries were dead.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Her daughter Karissa, 16, was killed while trying to call 911 from her bed.
The security system in their home had been disabled and all the doors were locked. A Maryland UPS worker has been indicted for killing as many as five or more women altogether. It is believed he used UPS databases in part to select his victims.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Unfortunately, my new employer is so politically correct it hurts. On my first day, during the HR orientation spiel, I was warned that even pocket multitools are considered dangerous weapons and will earn equivalent disciplinary action. All company property and anything on it is subject to search at any time. And their posted criminal-empowerment zones include the employee parking garage.
Under state law, leaving a gun locked in a car in a posted parking area is not a violation as long as the gun does not leave the vehicle. State law does not, however, prohibit an employer from taking disciplinary action against an employee for violating their so-called safety policy. That means my new employer is rendering me helpless not only at work but also on the drives to and from, and for any other stops I might make during those drives.
Having been unemployed twice in the last less-than-a-year, I have a whole new appreciation for having a job in an at-will world. This last time I was job-hunting was right after Obamacare passed, and prospective employers were asking me wholly inappropriate questions about my health, whether I was on any prescription drugs, et cetera. If I lose this job, finding another will only get harder.
Friday, July 23, 2010
- DVD NCIS-a-thons, best on nasty-weather weekends. Between the 5-disc changer, the DVD-VCR combo, and the high-def player, I can watch a whole season and then some without having to hoist my butt off the couch.
- The old Roberta Williams-Sierra Online "King's Quest" game series, especially "King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride." Virtualization using VMware vCenter Converter and VMware Player (both free downloads) lets me run obsolete software in its true native OS as guests of a current operating system.
- Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books. I have 'em all, in both dead-tree and electronic formats. Now, between eReader and Kindle for Android, I can take the whole collection with me wherever I go.
- Eating this cold, right out of the package. 'Nuff said.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Judge has only been trailered once, when he was moved to where he's living now from the place where he was born. That was several years ago. Since I like to stack the deck for success whenever possible, we spent the day today doing Trailer Loading 101.
We pulled my trailer into a safely-fenced area so I could use free-shaping to get Judge calmly loading himself. I brought some of my other horses in as well, since loading like ladies and gentlemen is an essential skill. Milton The EvilPony™ is a trailer loading champ and could come in handy to give an uncertain horse a lead. Funny how even the worst little snot around has something he does really well.
It really helps to have a trailer that's big and airy enough for the horses to feel comfortable. Judge is a solid 16 hands, and in my 7'8" tall, extra wide trailer he has plenty of room.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
When I elaborated on exactly why I mistrust and avoid conventional medicine, I never said all medical intervention was inadvisable. Symptoms we cannot identify on our own have to be identified somehow, but we absolutely must retain control over what treatments are pursued. Once we have a diagnosis, our lives may depend on whether we choose to follow the doctors' regimens or look elsewhere.
Taking greater responsibility for our personal health is no different than taking greater responsibility for our personal safety. It involves a lot of education and work. It's easier to abdicate responsibility for both of these things to the "only ones" we're told are qualified to handle them, but doing so is equally dangerous for both.
There is an awful lot of conventional medical "wisdom" that's based on seriously flawed models. Nobody goes to their doctor to be deliberately inoculated with cancer so it can grow and then be be treated, but most animal-based cancer studies do exactly that. Many treatments work more toward suppressing symptoms rather than addressing root causes. If I personally was diagnosed with sleep apnea, my first reaction would be to research the condition's probable causes and eliminate those from my life. Correcting causes rather than palliating symptoms improves overall health and frequently resolves other, less troublesome problems at the same time.
Where does a lot of conventional medical methodology come from? To find out, follow the money. Drug and other medical product companies fund research. Do they want people buying less of their products? No, they want us buying more.
It's no different than pet food companies pouring money into vet schools so that vets will tell their clients to feed their pets kibble instead of fresh raw diets. The low state of health created by commercial foods is then considered "normal." I feed my dogs a raw, natural diet, and when I sent my mortality figures in to a worldwide Greyhound age and cause of death survey, I skewed the figures: "One of the replies was from a lady who had had greyhounds for more than ten years, and her reply mentioned more than twenty dogs. When these figures were entered, the average age of death went up by a year!" When I brought my morbidity and mortality stats to a national Greyhound adoption conference and showed them to Greyhound vets from all over the country, they agreed my dogs had less than a third of the cancer they saw in the overall pet population and less than a fourth of what they saw in retired racing Greyhounds.
"Doggy breath" and "doggy odor" are not normal. They are indications of preventable disease. My raw fed dogs smell pleasant, and their breath smells fresh and clean. Their teeth stay free of tartar, they have no gum disease. I have a 14 year old dog right now who still runs around like a puppy, and she's been fed raw nearly all her life.
It's a lot easier to abdicate responsibility for our health to our doctors, our animals' health to our vets, and our personal safety to the police. To do otherwise can be difficult and painful (trust me, a week-long, high-speed-low-drag class at gun school is painful). For those who choose the path of least resistance, their experiences may be good enough for them. For those who aren't satisfied with the lowest common denominator, there are associated risks but far, far greater rewards.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
- Total estimated number of doctors in the U.S. -- 700,000
- Total approximate number of deaths annually from medical errors -- 195,000
- Average number of annual deaths per doctor -- 0.27857
- Total estimated number of gun owners in the U.S. -- 80,000,000
- Total estimated number of guns in the U.S. -- 250,000,000
- Total approximate firearm deaths annually from all intents -- 32,000
- Average annual number of deaths per gun owner -- 0.00040
- Average annual number of deaths per gun -- 0.00013
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
This mess has nothing to do with American gun shows. It has everything to do with an utterly corrupt and hypocritical Mexican government, and a cowardly and ineffective American government. Arizona passes a law that does nothing but enforce what the Feds won't, and the Obama administration plans to file suit against it.
Friday, June 18, 2010
When a doctor who's cranking your blown knee in exquisitely painful directions asks that question, what does he expect you to say?
It's not so much blown as re-blown. My first encounter with the "unhappy triad" was over twenty years ago, and no surgery was done then. This is the same knee that has since been hit with a bo in training leaving a permanent dent in the muscle, and kicked by Milton The EvilPony™ since we all know Murphy's Law loves a weak spot.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
As AztecRed points out here, why even have police when all they have to stop a sociopathic killer is strong language?
An American who'd been a police officer in Texas before moving to the UK was appalled at what he was told by his instructors while training to be a British police officer:
Even just one person with the tools, skills, and will can end a public killing spree.
I hope the panty-wetters in power accept responsibility for the blood on their hands resulting from their creation and enforcement of an utterly depraved public policy of defenselessness. They won't, though. They will undoubtedly use it as an excuse to clamp down even more on inanimate objects instead of their dystopian society that promotes violence by rewarding the violent with job safety and security. Ban weapons for the law-abiding, criminalize defending yourself in any way at all, then train the police to run away from danger? And they wonder why violent crime increases rather than decreases?
Insanity is doing the same unsuccessful thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. And welcome to the blogroll, Barack's Gun Lies.