I may need to invest in a new, larger dog bed…

So far this is as close as I’ve been able to get Little Bear to use Ghost’s…
I took the pillow out of the frame and laid it down where LB’s pillow used to be, but so far he’ll only rest his head on it. Which is all he would do with Ghost’s bed before. I guess he took me seriously all those times I got mad at him for taking it from Ghost. Now I’m trying to give it to him, and he doesn’t want it.

Dogs. I may end up donating this one to Dharma.

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Huh. I shot a squirrel with a .44 Magnum yesterday, which I now learn, technically, …

…makes me an Active American.

No, seriously. I saw it in Forbes, so it must be true.

So it appears that Americans are getting a little more active. A report released May 23 by the Physical Activity Council, made up of eight sports industry associations, found the number of inactive Americans dropped to 81.6 million in 2015, down from 82.7 million in 2014, which was the highest number the survey had found. “Inactive” means someone participate in zero out of 104 designated activities over the course of a year, which means if you do one of them once, you’re active for the purpose of this survey, though not for the purpose of a healthy life.

While it’s good news that more people are getting active, those in the sports industry are not celebrating, and not just because celebrating would undermine their causes of putting more physical education in schools and getting a law passed that would allow people to use pre-tax medical accounts to cover their own and their children’s fitness and sports-related fees, and their cause of getting more people to spend more money on athletic gear (an urgent cause, as the coming demise of Sports Authority makes clear).

PHIT America, another sports industry group, put out its own release on the Physical Activity Council’s research and noted that a lot of the increase in activity was due to one thing: guns.

From PHIT America:

* 46% of all the growth came from people using firearms — shooting (sport clays), shooting (trap/skeet), hunting (hand gun), and target shooting (handgun)

* Four of the top eight growth activities for 1+ time participants were with people using firearms

There’s more at the link, of course.

So! I learned something new today. If you pick up that gun you bought because Obama wants to ban them, dust it off, take it out and use it, you can do more than just make Obama and Hillary cry – worthy as that cause certainly is. For some reason you can also make executives in the sporting goods industry shed a frustrated tear as well, by doing just what they say they want you to do.

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Well, hot damn.

Sometime in the middle of this morning, Wildblue decided I’d suffered enough and took me off time-out. I now have download speed that’s merely irritatingly slow rather than Click/Go wash the car/Come back and see how it went.

Still don’t have anything to say, though. Seriously, I woke up this morning sore in all joints, Sleepy and Sneezy and Grumpy and Dopey all rolled into one dwarfish old reprobate. Delayed reaction to the events of the past week, I presume. Just finished two and a half hours of laundry, washing measurable ounces of filth out of my work clothes. Had to stop a while halfway through and pop aspirin, then went back to work.

But having gotten it all on the line, shazam! I have internet access again. As much as ever. To test it I tried to open NRO, which has considered me dead to it for the past couple of weeks.

Should have saved the effort of clicking the mouse, though. What the hell kind of title is “Would Thomas More have Voted for Donald Trump?” Is this what I’ve been missing?

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We love you, Katie.

Like we love canker sores and jock itch.

And we apologize if you feel these edits somehow hurt your feelings.

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Gained a paycheck, lost a dog.

This turned out to be a momentous morning.

I met the guy in charge of that parcel I’ve been working at. He signed off on the job, okayed the invoice, and we shook hands and parted. I dropped by the lady who handles the money, she okayed the invoice and I left it with her. So I’m gettin’ paid, probably Monday, not that it matters because it’ll be weeks before I can get the check deposited. No problem, I’m okay for food/fuel/etc.

Since the boys and I were already in the Jeep and I’ve been sort-of neglecting minimally attending certain matters, I figured we may as well make the security rounds before I came home and started laundry. That chore has grown to five stops in all, at the end of which I noticed that S&L’s gate was unlocked and open. Not a big surprise given what weekend we’re up against. That open gate, I suspected, was not going to be a trivial matter.

A bit of background for non-regular readers: Continue reading

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Back when I was a real person, I had two serious airport security line oopsies.

Both of these happened long before 9/11 and the TSA, and one wasn’t all that serious.

Long before I flew regularly, when I was in fact living a life in the High Plains very much like the one I have now except I was younger and studlier and regularly employed, I had to take a (series of) flight(s) to my hometown of Detroit for some personal business. I actually checked in at the airline desk and was heading for the security line when it finally occurred to me that nobody was going to smile and nod at my holstered 1911. Then as now I often forgot I had it with me.

(This got longer than intended…) Continue reading

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Think I’m done hauling white trash’s trash.

By the end of Tuesday I’d finished everything except the trailer’s back yard, because these were generally very lazy people and messing up 40 whole acres is hard work so they mostly concentrated on dumping shit in their own yard – setting it on fire, maybe pouring some dirt or used cat litter on top, breaking a beer bottle or 12, blasting it with a 20-gauge for laughs, then dumping more shit. In their way, these were moderately busy people.

Yesterday and today I spent seven hours on the yard, about a third of the total labor time. I was especially impressed by the tangle of old chicken and stock fencing in one large burn pile, that alone took at least an hour to sort out enough that I could drag it to the dumpster. A UV-degraded plastic garbage can filled with heavy car suspension parts came as an entertaining surprise but it didn’t get the win; I could just shortcut by dumping the can and falling back quickly till I learned what-all was living in there, then piling the heavy stuff into the trailer. But when I hit that half-buried, half-melted, really tangled fencing, I did have a few moments’ doubt that I would finish today. So that one gets the win. Good thing I keep fence pliers in the Jeep.

But I finished anyway, because damn how I wanted to be finished.

Now I’m trying to remember invoice formats – normally people just give me cash – and I need to have it ready to meet the owners tomorrow morning. Gad, I hate filling out forms, even forms I made up myself.

Hopefully I’m done, but even if they find something more they want me to do I’m pretty confident it won’t be much. They went over the work I’d done up to yesterday and declared it good.

And I hauled home three solid trailer-loads of scrap wood and pallets, which I didn’t originally expect. Along with some other pallets people wanted me to haul off for them, next winter’s firewood is collected and ready to cut. In your face, Martha Stewart.

I politely declined a job offer for cleaning out the inside of the trailer. No way I’m spending days inside that cat-piss-smelling thing.

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This is the 21st century. I was told there would be 21st century problems.

Instead I wake to find myself in a low-budget Charles Bronson movie.

Conduct your desert hikes heavily armed, Citizens, because Mexican drug cartel assassins.

[Pinal County Sheriff Paul] Babeu went on to say he is concerned that potential violence between the assassins and those looking to steal drugs could harm “innocent Americans and my deputies.”

Babeu said people who choose to celebrate Memorial Day in Pinal County’s western deserts should be armed in the instance they come across smugglers or sicarios.

Well. That’s going to do wonders for tourist-dependent businesses in Pinal County. If any.

Savor it with me for just a moment, brethren and sistren. On the one hand, yes, our society is degenerating into Mad Max territory and we’re all gonna die. Horribly, trussed to the front of the Great Humungous’s bizarre hybrid vehicle. That’s kinda bad. But! On the other hand, a law enforcement officer outside Detroit finally threw up his hands and admitted – publicly, out in front of God, Shannon Watts and everybody – “No, we were lying all along, all that ‘call 911 and leave it to us’ business was just a scam, you better get yerself a gun.”

Yeah, the wanton uncontrolled violence is bad. But on the bright side, whatever makes Michael Bloomberg gnash his teeth in frustrated anger brings a smile to this old face.

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Social Justice Warriors and Gun Control: It’s all fun and games until a transie wants a gun.


Gavin Newsom attacks NRA, angers civil rights groups

“The NRA group in California is using the Trans community to fight our common sense gun safety initiative,” Mr. Newsom wrote Friday in response to meme. “Using the Trans community to fight their battle of lies is arguably one of the most disgusting things they’ve ever done.”

The Pink Pistols, a gay gun rights group boasting chapters in 33 states, is demanding the lieutenant governor apologize for what they called “ignorant and unfounded statements.”

I’m sure that cannibalism is normally a really disgusting practice. But I must admit there’s one variety I never tire of watching. :)

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Oh, I underestimated how much wood these people left laying around…

And some of it is tragic. Imagine 3 16′ true dimension 2X6s, so heavy I can barely lift them one at a time. Somebody made them into…something, I don’t know, part of a fence maybe, and then left them in the dirt for the termites. Can’t imagine what they originally cost, and now they’re good for nothing but firewood. Had to cut them up to get them into the trailer. There was a bunch of stuff like that, just dropped in the dirt. Crazy.

I filled the trailer to the top and still left 12 8′ 2X6s for tomorrow. I think I may actually finish this business tomorrow, which would be great. I put in my longest day today, and my back is singing soprano.

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Huh. I didn’t even know we had garter snakes around here.

Just going from experience, I always thought we had two kinds of snake: Bull snakes, and all the different kinds of rattlesnake. But on this clean-up gig I’ve had to carefully turn over several-going-on-many pieces of flat stock – old plywood, OSB, shards of RV walls, etc – certain that at some point I’d meet something nasty living underneath.

This morning I found my very first snake, and it came as a surprise…
Says here it’s either a Northern Mexico Garter or an Arizona Garter, and I didn’t know there was such a thing. I saw a helluva lot of garter snakes in Michigan, but didn’t know they lived in the desert. Live and learn. Also live and let live; they’re harmless.

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You guys probably take payment for your labor in scrap lumber, right?

Because this clean-up gig is finally starting to pay off…

Yeah. By most people’s standards, I have no life. :)

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You look too calm and relaxed.

Here’s a little something to pressure-test those cerebral arteries*:

20,642 New Regulations Added in the Obama Presidency

The tide of red tape that threatens to drown U.S. consumers and businesses surged yet again in 2015, according to a Heritage Foundation study we released on Monday.

More than $22 billion per year in new regulatory costs were imposed on Americans last year, pushing the total burden for the Obama years to exceed $100 billion annually.

After spelling out (this tiny piece of) the problem of overregulation, the writer goes and spoils it all by offering a plan for “reform” …

Congress needs to take immediate action to control the continued expansion of the administrative state, prevent further harm to the economy, and stem the erosion of individual liberty.

Right. Good. While we’ve got their attention, we should force the congress critters to promise to slow the earth’s rising sea levels and heal the planet, too. Then all our problems will be fixed.

Anyone who still thinks there’s a constituency in congress actually in favor of reducing the size and influence of government – or even ‘controlling its continued expansion’ – has not been paying the slightest bit of attention.

There: Bare minimum achieved, I must now go out and pick up garbage in the hot sun. Later.


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Chipping away at this week’s agonizing gig…

Yes, that's a bathtub out of an old RV.

Yes, that’s a bathtub out of an old RV.

I got the whole back fence area cleaned up today, and the area of the former goat pens. Filled the Jeep trailer to overflowing twice, piled a bunch of broken blocks that will be used for fill elsewhere, and spent some time tearing down one small wooden structure. Rotting OSB went into the Dumpster, dimensional lumber came home with me and landed on the to-be-cut woodpile. I’m gonna end up with at least a trailerload of stovewood out of this deal.

I think I’m still on track to finish this business by the end of the week. Or maybe it’s only hope…

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I do not question your reasoning, Madam, but fear your response may have been extreme.

This is apparently a real obituary:

NOLAND, Mary Anne Alfriend. Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68.

Would it not be better to simply not vote, then live to observe the coming dystopia?

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Proposition: The White House has become an unacceptable gun violence hazard

You never know when these paranoid creeps will snap, but you know they will – and in the middle of a crowded tourist venue. It’s fairly certain that if you and I behaved like this we’d be in a prison or a mental hospital.

Friday: Shooting near White House prompts lockdown; one in custody

The “shooting” was, of course, committed by a White House policeman who is not the one in custody. His unlikely story, that a man walked up to him and pulled a gun for no reason, was of course accepted uncritically. Let’s compare and contrast: George Zimmerman, of whom I am not a fan, had to get beaten half to death before being justified in shooting his attacker – an action for which he was declared a murderer by the current resident of the White House.

Yesterday: Balloons to blame for security scare at White House

Yes, the highly-trained and heavily-armed myrmidons of the White House protection detail went on red alert upon seeing…some kid’s balloon. Though the article fails to mention it, missiles with high explosive warheads were involved. Fortunately, for once there was no body count.

On neither occasion was the President or his wife even there to be protected. Shooting incidents outside the White House are becoming regular staples for news reporters, to an extent that – again – would have you or me declared menaces to our neighbors. These people take “stay off my lawn” to psychotic extremes.

White House gun violence has become an unacceptable burden on the DC population, to say nothing of millions of annual visitors.

For Your Safety

For Your Safety

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So did Chile ban guns, thus making suicide unpossible?

Because it seems as though this guy went to a lot of trouble to get it done…

Zookeepers shoot man with tranquiliser while trying to save him from lions

I’m sure everyone was very appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of the adventure…

A man who climbed into a lion enclosure, stripped naked and taunted them into attacking him was shot with a tranquiliser dart by zookeepers trying to save him from a near-fatal mauling.

Visitors to Santiago’s Metropolitan Zoo in Chile watched aghast as staff eventually shot and killed two of the lions with live ammunition. The man had been carrying what appeared to be a suicide note, authorities said.

I gather from context that the dart was meant for one of the cats, but nobody would hold still…

The part about a guy stripping naked and committing suicide by zoo lion, believe it or not, isn’t the stupidest part of the story. That’s just crazy. This is the stupidest part…

Chilean social media exploded with a firestorm of criticism against zoo authorities: reactions ranged from calls to boycott all zoos, to questions about the use of deadly force.


Granted that it wasn’t the lions’ fault, what the hell else were the zoo guys supposed to do?

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TUAK housekeeping & blogroll

I try to keep the blogroll updated, but keep running into things that should be here except I didn’t know about them. If you have an active blog that ought to be on the TUAK sidebar, please let me know about it. The rules for inclusion are pretty standard and pretty loose: I’ll link to almost anything reciprocally or for a regular commenter. Unless, you know, you’re secretly Stormfront or Shannon Watts.

But I can’t do it if I don’t know about it. So clue me in, okay?

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Met a bunch of ants yesterday…

…who reminded me that the blousing ribbons on those old BDU trous aren’t just for tripping over. I’m pretty sure we don’t have real fire ants here, but these were going for the title. Hurt like bad spider bites for a few hours, but now it has settled down to just itching welts. Probably picked up the hitchhikers while I was sitting on the ground cleaning up glass, though there’s a big and much-riled anthill right where they parked the Dumpster.

Since there’s so much to-and-fro on this gig, I actually revised the deal to get some compensation for fuel. I say it like that because normally I’m the world’s worst negotiator, but this job really reminds me I’m no longer young and I’m not giving anything away.

Today I’m staying away from it, just doing laundry and enjoying the pretty day. My back, joints and stump needed a break, but tomorrow I’ll have to hit it all the harder if I really hope to wrap this up by the end of next week.

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“Aw, c’mon! You’ve got to be kidding. Seriously?”

I may have emoted somewhat. There was nobody around to hear, so it’s just between you and me.

I had planned to spend this morning’s time at the site moving a few specific large/heavy things, just to get that out of the way. Time remaining on the clock I’d spend rolling the wheelbarrow though one particular section of the 40 acres, just picking up windblown trash.

That last part of the plan went to hell almost immediately…
How much glass can you break in one place?

I mean… hell, I’ve accidentally broken a window or two, in the course of a long life. Never left the shards laying around in my yard, but maybe that’s just me. Point is, in even the most slovenly yard I can imagine, I wouldn’t expect to run into a pile of shattered plate glass around every damned corner I turned.

These people were low.

Also, these gloves are never going to be the same.

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