Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thinking about Thanksgiving

especially on Veterans' Day.
(Better viewed on higher speed connection; crossposted at Livejournal.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

My First Costume

This is the first year I had a costume for Halloween. I made a tin foil robot after seeing many on the web. The mall was having their annual trick or treat for a few hours in the evening where kids could walk in safety and get treats from local merchants. People were encouraged to put on a costume and come give the mall some seasonal atmosphere. I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to test the waters, so I geared up and went to the mall in costume, sans robot head as I couldn't get in the car with it on.

I was pleasantly surprised at the response. Got a lot of parents pointing out the robot to their kids and getting requests for "TinFoilio" to make appearances at some stores. What I couldn't quite grasp is the disparate response from the little kids who either: were intrigued and waved and wanted to approach the "robot", or wanted to flee in terror, often shrieking - though I must confess the latter did hold a certain perverse appeal. Still, what's to fear from a tin foil robot?

Then I saw an on-line article about the correlation in people's minds between the width of a man's face and his tendency toward aggression. Given that I already stand around 6'2" and the extra height of the "head" added about 4 inches to my height, I suppose that could be imposing. But how tall is Minnie Mouse at Disney World? So that couldn't be all of it. So I'm left with wondering if there is anything to that "wide face" theory.

For your consideration, here is a picture of the wide-faced guy the article used as illustration and a photo of my robot head. The robot "head" is 12"x12"x12".

Wide-face guy


After I got home I decided to stroll around the neighborhood, which in itself was fun. Cars stopped to pay respects, I overheard someone say to one of their kids, "Look, there's a robot, just walking around. You think he's just walking around alone?" One little girl was concerned about that. It was kinda sweet. I "busted" a few robot dance moves to the delight of some of the kids - a few who even joined in. I walked down Belmont and got some honks from passing autos and a few slowed. Had my picture taken several times, though none were posed. All-in-all, a very positive first experience bringing TinFoilio "on-line".

I already have several more ideas for TinFoilio iterations in mind, hopefully in time for New Year's. Maybe TinFoilio will have better luck finding and sustaining a relationship than I have!

(Note: Posted originally at

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Before the finger pointing gets out of control

I want to observe this about the following tragic incident:
Pittsburgh gunman 'lying in wait' killed 3 police officers.
People will read the killer's comments e.g., 'being concerned that "the Obama administration was poised to ban guns", "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon" and fail to connect the dots.

So let me connect them.

Anyone who is so out of touch with reality to start shooting and killing people isn't rational enough to be intellectually concerned about anything! And let me state for the record, those same people don't have any gun 'rights' to take away!

I'd say the odds are slim to none - as in none - that sad, demented people like them have passed muster by the state and federal government. I doubt that their fingerprints are on file with the FBI and the ATF - and by extension, the CIA, Secret Service, etc., as are those who are issued carry permits. And about that -

The officers were responding to a domestic disturbance call. Had sad whacko actually somehow managed to obtain a permit, the officers would have known this, would have expected and been prepared for a possible armed encounter, and I doubt would have simply knocked on the door politely.

And even a quick read of the article would reveal this bit:

"According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 133 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2008, a 27 percent decrease from year before and the lowest annual total since 1960."

Numbers of legally armed, trained, vetted citizens on the increase and mortality of law enforcement on the decrease. May be a coincidence, maybe.

Violence increasing? So called gun-free zones, such as schools and certain other specific types of public places and buildings where legally armed citizens are not allowed. Which makes a pretty tempting and easy target for a psychopath.

I have no desire to do anyone any harm and I pray to God I'm never put in that situation. But I also don't intend to go quietly if someone tries to rob me at knife or gun point, decides to start a shooting rampage at the local mall, or invades my home or that of my neighbors.

My hope, my request, is that those individuals who oppose our current firearms and carry laws not judge me - or any of the legally armed, rational, careful, law-abiding citizens - by the actions of people like the man described in this incident.

He and his sad kind no more represent nor speak for gun owners, than does Benny Hinn represent all television evangelists, nor Jack Kevorkian speak for all physicians.

(I just wanted to get my fingerpointing in early. Let the ranting and railing begin.)
Cross-posted in my Livejournal.

Monday, January 19, 2009

That sucking sound

I thought the US Congress had become the biggest bunch of blowhard windbag do-nothings ever elected in my lifetime. But these days I'm convinced that, when it comes to hot air generated, no elected body can touch our own Tennessee legislature when it comes to getting nothing done and taking a long time to do it.

You don't need a reason

to call in sick on your day off!
Just for fun, pick a day when you aren't scheduled to work and then call in sick. I can imagine conversations like this:

(phone rings and is answered)

"Thank-you for calling Jinky's Geegaws, how may I direct your call?"
"Uhh, I need to talk to someone to tell them I'm sick and not coming in to work today."
"Oh, I'm sorry, let's see . . . your name please?"
"This is Jimmy"
"Yes, Jimmy."
"I'm looking at the schedule and I don't see your name."
"I know."
"I don't understand . . ."
"Yeah, well I'm calling to say I won't be in."
"But . . . I'm confused, I don't see you scheduled to work today. Maybe there's a problem with the schedule."
"Could be, 'cause I'm not gonna be there and if I'm scheduled that's a problem."
"But you aren't scheduled."
"And I won't be in, just wanted someone to know, I'm not a lollygagger you know and I want whoever's in charge to get the message!"
"OK, I'll make sure they get the message."
"Yes, who is going to get the message?"
"Uh, well, I guess the manager on duty."
"OK, so you'll make sure they know that I called? I want to keep a good record."
"OK, I'll tell him you won't be in . . . but as far as I can tell you aren't scheduled to be in."
"That's right, must make sure that gets on the schedule."
"You want me to put that on the schedule?"
"That's right! Make a note on the schedule that I called to say I won't be in to work today."
"OK . . . maybe you should talk to the manager."
"No, don't need to, this is my day off."
"Then why are you calling in?"
"Because I won't be there!"

See where this has possibilities? As well as how I have way too much time on my hands? This is what happens when CBS replaces an episode of The Unit with (anything else). And soon football season is over and it can only get worse!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let that be a lesson to yuh!

Note to self:
When inspecting the chamber after locking the slide back on a pistol, keep fingers well away from the slide release.

(ow!ow!ow!ow!ow!ow!ow!ow! . . . really bad word here . . .ow!ow!ow!ow!ow!)


Sunday, January 11, 2009

What will it take?

(I'll have more to say - extensively - about this whole experience later.)

A few days ago I helped my sister bury her husband, Gary, who died of lung cancer. The effects of this cancer are particularly vile and evil. At the funeral service the minister - who was Gary's own brother - choked out his closing remarks with the last words that Gary spoke to him: "Promise me you'll tell them to quit smoking."

At the cemetary, while waiting for all the cars to arrive and everything to get underway, I saw someone step away and light up a cigarette.
I made myself not slap him in front of his family and friends, but only out of respect for my brother-in-law - who had become my friend, and my sister and her daughters. Otherwise, the left side of his head would still be ringing.

Just so you know, if you are an acquaintance of mine and you fire one up in my presence I'll take it as an intentional, personal insult.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

So Long, Two Thousand Eight

There was so much crap. I hated you at times, you know? That was some kinda you-know-what mind**** with what's-her-face. And the whole thing with layoffs and money and bills. Jebus. And you just kinda came and went didn't you? Just last year I was running up that hill right outside my house. I could smell a homefire nearby and it was cold. But, jebus, that thing with what's-her-face. That's one of them WTF episodes.

I did pay off a credit card but it was first one thing and then another after that. And people came and went. Friends and some family dropped off the horizon.

But, I'm not in ICU. My joints hurt sometime but - if properly warmed up and at peak fitness - I can still do maybe a 6 second 40. At my age, that's pretty freakin good. (At any age that's pretty good; at my age it's bloody freakin supernatural.)

I don't have a great place to live; I do have a place to live.

The work I do isn't the path I chose, but I have work.

I found out that some people who say they'll always be there for you, won't. But then I learned that there are others who always show up without a word. Code red, count on it.

Pain. I learned what real pain is like. I thought I knew what pain was but boy did you show me. Pain that doesn't respond to anything but time. Crumpling, deforming the body and mind, you showed me. But I learned tolerance and patience, and compassion.

I can hear; I can see; I can breathe without the aid of a machine.
I can read.
I have food. I have water.
I have . . . possibilities.
I'm alive; I have hope; I know that someday I won't be, but for now I still am.

So, no hard feelings.

In fact, thanks.

(Especially the health and hope part.)