Thursday, August 13, 2009

another boomer icon gone...

les paul died today. a guitar legend and father of the electric guitar -some would even argue the father of rock and roll- his name and his influence have been ubiquitous throughout my lifetime of interest in music.

him being 94, and his death coming as the 40th anniversary of woodstock has us in reflection mode, i'm feeling even older than usual today. beats the alternative, i guess.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009; the post office of the medical field!

you gotta give bobo credit: it's a pretty honest assessment of how efficient federally controlled healthcare would be.

i guess instead of a dead-letter file there'd be the dead-patient file. kind of know, storage space, bad smell, etc. of course, this whole thing stinks to high heaven anyway.

still, it's a great (and accurate) analogy. i can see the advertising blitz now: " the efficiency of the u.s. postal service with the customer service you've come to expect from amtrak..."


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

chris matthews hyperventilates...

in his sad little attempt to play "hardball", this pathetic little fart sniffer actually provides a perfect foil for the new hampshire guy to make his case calmly and simply. matthews so desperately wanted this guy to be a foaming-at-the-mouth crazy that he decided to show him how it's done.

hi-f'n-larious. and a really great job by the interviewee in keeping his cool and stating his case.

them there new hampsterites are starting to look like my kind of yankees.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

hippie, please...

irritated at a bumper sticker proclaiming "health care is a human right", the munchkin wrangler loosed a tirade that included that simple phrase...

while my son pointed out that it is a shameless riff off of the old black-on-black exclamation "nigga, please", i myself thought that in marko's context, never had so much been said with so few words.

so i and others badgered him to set up a cafe-press inventory of stickers and shirts to buy for ourselves. he did, and i did. and here are the results:
i thought it particularly appropriate for my hemi 4x4 truck...

and even for my um...ample and obviously carniverous self.

thanks, marko.


Monday, August 3, 2009

no loaded guns allowed!

seems an odd rule for a place where shooting is the point. but discussion at tam's centered around exactly that rule at the range she frequents. there they require bringing in unloaded/cleared firearms only...necessitating what she and shootin' buddy point out is the distinctly dangerous practice of unloading range guns as well as carry-ons in the car or parking lot, etc.

but as i said in comments there, that same logic holds for any place with such a rule. and there are many, sadly including even most gun shops, which often feature a big sign on the door; "no loaded firearms". that made a bit more sense in the days before carry permits and most guns coming in the door were for sale, trade, repair, etc...but now, with perhaps a majority of those who frequent ffl's carrying concealed, it has become an absurdity...and a decidedly dangerous rule. combined with the many places -public and private- that ban loaded firearms on the premises, it brings into focus just how often the need for permit holders to unload -or offload- their weapon in the car before they can enter these premises unnecessarily endangers everyone in the vicinity, as manipulating mags, slides, and cylinders requires much touching. and though some anti's would have you believe the very presence of guns can cause random carnage even when they're safely in their holsters, it's all that touching that can result in an n.d.

it's a big problem that many don't really think about, and there's not an easy solution...maybe the best one is to just avoid such places whenever possible.


Monday, July 27, 2009

could be worse...

it was predictable that with the teevee industry making almost nothing new except "reality" shows, there would eventually be one featuring pawnbrokers; anything that is not widely understood or perceived to be somehow odd or illicit is bound to be a target, so i've been expecting it.

sure enough, a few weeks ago the so-called "history channel" started running promos for something called "pawn stars". great, right off the bat an off-color alliteration to "porn stars".

i've seen a couple of episodes now (twice they've run back-to-back episodes, apparently trying to give the show a shove out of the gate), and it's pretty bad...but not as bad as it could be.

you've got your standard cast of characters/caricatures; the crusty ol' grandpa who founded the business, his middle-aged son who is the main man now, and the son's son, a 300-lb smart-mouth who just wants to get rid of dad and granddad so he can take over and call all the shots. add a 400-lb doofus as the designated clown and a seemingly endless supply of "experts" who are apparently at the beck and call of the central characters, anxious to drop everything to run over to the shop to do appraisals and provide historical data in their specialized fields, and you've got the pawn shop version of "dog the bounty hunter", "operation repo", "deadliest catch", et al.

set in vegas, you expect a different clientele than main street, usa...but damn. it strains credulity (as if reality shows had any) to watch the steady stream of off-the-wall and high-dollar items walking in; an 18th c. hotchkiss wheeled cannon which they drag out into the desert and test fire and subsequently pay 30K for, a civil war officer's sword, a five hundred year old jousting helmet, a 20K chris craft speedboat, a big dog chopper, several scarce antique firearms, a couple of rolex watches, a '54 gretsch, a huge commercial woodworking machine (which required a forklift, a flatbed, and a crew of four to pick up for pawn), even a couple of salvador dali's...all in the first couple of episodes? and the customers are all apparently collectors, businessmen, etc.; where the hell are the housewives pawning their wedding rings to make the rent, the out-of-town gambler who spent it all and pawns his bracelet and laptop for airfare home, not to mention the paycheck to paycheck types bringing in the same flatscreen every month for a couple hundred to get by, and the steady stream of lowtones dragging in useless junk they "found"? and what about the goofballs who come in muzzle-sweeping everybody in the place with the hunting rifle they want to borrow on, and the obligatory druggie/drunk you have to (sometimes forcibly) remove from the premises? shit, if his client list was representative of "reality", maybe i wouldn't have burned out and turned out.

still, the main character has a decent way about him, and at least on camera seems pretty honest and open; most media pawnshop depictions have featured monosyllabic cretins with dirty hands and a dirtier demeanor, so as i say, it could be worse. no doubt most of the stuff is scripted, but if his daily fare is the multi-thousand $ items that are featured on the show, this is one unique pawn shop. and i'm gonna have to get ahold of his rolodex of experts who are so anxious to help him make a deal without trying to scarf the deals for themselves...

so even though this show and others like it should be called "unreality" shows, i'll probably keep watching just because it's one of the rare non-negative portrayals i've seen, and some of the stuff that makes it on camera is pretty cool.

but that name..."pawn stars". *shudder*.


Monday, July 20, 2009

the dark side of the moon...

as awe-inspiring as it was, and as hard as it is to believe that it's been forty years, it could well be that the accomplishments of armstrong et al were the beginning of the end for America's space program.

consider this: the difference in the worlds of 1929 and 1969 is as if they are different worlds completely...and yet from 1969 until 2009 what real advances have been made in terms of our exploration and exploitation of the potential of the universe outside our own little ecosystem? in many ways our landing on the moon was treated as an end, rather than a beginning, to our efforts to free us from our surly, earthly bonds.

in my lifetime of awareness, only ronald reagan put forth a true vision of what is or should be possible or accomplished in our space program. his "star wars" initiative was roundly derided as expected by the usual suspects around the globe -as well as their cohorts here at home- but its perfection would have virtually ensured our defense against and control of situations that right now threaten our very existence; think iran and north korea as prime examples. he foresaw that these looneybins would eventually stumble over the key to the nuclear lock, with completely unpredictable and unmentionable wars could have neutralized any threat before international airspace was even encroached.

and can there be any doubt that the answers to all of our energy and resources needs are there for the extraterrestrial taking? many of us mourn for ronnie, his philosophy of limiting the role of government in citizens daily lives, and the confidence and sense of purpose that he embodied. but often his vision for the future and what is next for mankind is overlooked.

as we celebrate the anniversary of the awesome accomplishment that landing on the moon absolutely was, and contemplate the warpspeed passing of four decades since, let us remember this: as we are justifiably focused on and consumed by the domestic issues and "change" that threaten our continued existence as a free republic, the answer to the greater question of the continued viability of mankind itself is, as it were, in the stars.

we just have to find a captain, a navigator...and the resolve.


under the heading of:

"fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me..."

i'd say nobody could be that dumb, but we know better don't we?


Friday, July 10, 2009

it's a fine mess we've gotten ourselves into...

an article on the probable next phase of the housing meltdown resulted in a pretty long string of comments; lots of crass and ignorant pricks chimed in, but there's quite a few that ring true with personal experience and hit pretty close to my own heart, so although i never jump into these frays, i made an exception in this case to make a personal point about how this whole deal has made victims even of those who did their best to do everything my daughter's family.

there is no doubt that homeowners with good credit who purchased homes during the bubble will begin to walk away from mortgages that are not currently in default or even delinquent as short-fuse mortgages reach reset dates.

my daughter and her husband, who are fiercely protective of their credit rating and the honorable fulfilling of their obligations, purchased a modest home in new port richey, fl in july '05 for $171,000 with 100% financing arranged through e-loan that involved an 80% first mortgage and a second mortgage for the remaining amount...100% financing, interest only for five years, with the expectation that the increase in value would allow them to refinance into a new first mortgage for the full amount when the two notes come due 07/10. they have struggled but have maintained their payments in full and on-time because that is what they agreed to do.

in today's market, that home would probably sell for about half of the original purchase price...about $80-90,000. what are they to do? if the bank would give them a new fixed-rate mortgage for the full amount, they would no doubt accept it, continue to live in their home and make the payments on time -even though it would be a struggle- because they want to keep their commitment. but of course refinancing will require an appraisal, and the bank will no doubt want to finance just 80% of the current value, and they have no way to pay the huge difference, even if they were dumb enough to do so.

i have always advised them on their purchases and finances, and even helped them choose their current 80/20 mortgage which has a good rate and was within their ability to pay, so it is not as if they were irresponsible in buying more home or taking on more debt than they could afford. they are innocent victims of the boom and bust cycle that was orchestrated by a broken and corrupt system.

it breaks my heart to tell them they should do so, as they have done everything right, and it is so important to them, but i am advising them to place their home on the market as a short sale at the current value as an alternative to allowing the mortgages to fall into default and allowing a foreclosure. sadly, even a short sale that is accepted by the lenders will have a serious effect on their credit which is so important to them, could result in the banks asking them to pay the shortage, and no doubt will affect their ability to purchase another home in the future.

why on earth is it not possible for the banks to reduce the principle on their debt to the amount that the house would sell for today and have them continue to pay their obligation, keep their home, and retain their good credit rating? the banks would get the same amount they will get anyway in a short sale, and save the costs involved with selling and financing the home to someone else. this is a situation that is beyond any reason, and as this article points out, i'm afraid the effects of it are only beginning, as homeowners who have kept up their payments face the prospect of having no choice but to give up their homes and mortgages as the thousands of sales and mortgages done with five-year terms come home to roost.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

behind the scenes...

it's easy enough to see who pulls the strings in moscow; the pretty puppet goes through the moves while the plotting puppeteer makes the real plans.

but who (or what)is behind the curtain (heh), pulling the levers for the bo-bot? he makes nice and speaks flawlessly about leading by example, but what is the true vision for our ultimate defense? (hint: his recent voiceover gig and similarities to neverland notwithstanding, it ain't disney...)

could those who call the shots for the former also be architects of the grand design (or the grand disarmament) for the latter?

one might look to history (or channel adolf and ask him) about the value of the firm handshakes and earnest promises of those who would (still) rule the world.


Saturday, July 4, 2009





Wednesday, July 1, 2009

one down, two to go...

wifey and i drove up to north ga. monday to close the sale of my son's former house up here. the transaction went smoothly at the attorney's office tuesday morning, and the money is now in the bank. it was a losing proposition; we paid cash in aug. '05 (and moved son up here on katrina weekend; scary!) with some of the proceeds from the sale of our business and investment properties in fla. the plan was for eric and his fiance to buy the place from us and have us finance the sale. well, we financed it all right, but problems between his fiance and him kept the actual sale from ever happening, and eric moved back to fla. last year.

we put the place on the market then with an agent last june but that was just as the financing bust was busting big, and the people who were interested in a 170k house couldn't get a mortgage without perfect credit and a huge down. so a few months ago, i put it up fsbo, offering to finance the sale for a buyer with decent credit and a decent down, at a price that reflected my not having to pay 12k in realtor fees. almost immediately we got a call from an agent who was handling the sale of a widow's house in a town an hour away, and the widow wanted to be nearer to her daughter and son-in-law. she would pay cash (awesome!), but it was contingent on closing the sale of her former home which in the new world of real estate wasn't a done deal until this past friday when her first sale closed. the agent settled for a flat 4k commission and the buyer assumed all the closing costs.

so even though we lost about 20k all told, it beats having the place sit empty and paying upkeep, plus at this point what was investment capital is now needed to pay off credit lines, etc. that we have had to use in the past year to live and help set up a new business. and thank God the real estate market in this area has remained a hell of a lot more stable than in fla...losing ten percent of our investment is bad enough, but right now homes in central fla. are selling for one-half or less of what they sold for a few years ago at the height of the bubble.

so all in all, we're happy that it's done. now we have another house near this one to sell (it's under lease-option to the original agent for the first one; the plan is for them to complete that purchase next year), plus the home in sebring, fla. where we're back to living fulltime will be sold too when (if) the market there recovers somewhat (400k paper value during the boom is at best 250 now) so that we can buy a place around ocala or gainesville.

and we couldn't have had better timing for our trip up to no. ga...fla has been insufferably hot and humid for the past two months, and here they've had a lovely cool snap that has brought the 50's and 60's overnight and far less humidity. we decided to drive another half hour up to blue ridge and rent a cabin with a view for a few nights before heading back to hades...i mean florida. and right now i'm sitting on the porch overlooking miles of mountaintops and damn near chilly from the delightfully cool breeze. my sweetie and i will head into downtown in a little while for her to browse the antique shops here in blue ridge, and then come back to the cabin to grill a few steaks and enjoy the tranquility together over a couple glasses of wine.

life ain't perfect and never is, but it could sure be worse.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

opportunity knocking...

annoying but effective teevee pitchman billy mays was found dead this morning...

he lives near here in the tampa area and was on a plane that blew its nose wheels on landing at tampa international yesterday roughing up a few folks including billy. he got a bump on his head and gave an interview on last night's local news, saying he was okay because "i have a hard head". not hard enough, i guess; his wife said he went to bed last night not feeling well and woke up dead this morning. man, you never know what's going to take you out.

sorry for him and his family, but on the up side, there's one more bad unreality show by the wayside. of course in this sick world, his "pitchmen" reruns will probably get huge viewership and his products will become collector's items...i can see the fleabay blurb now: "this is an actual unopened, nib container of the same oxyclean used by the famous billy mays before his tragic death...only $150!"

but from tragedy comes opportunity...a great idea for a new product; gel-cushion hat for those pesky crash landings. they'll have to get another pitchman, though. hey, is the sham-wow guy out of jail yet?


Sunday, June 21, 2009

a father's day wish...

last year, on the fifteenth anniversary of my dad's passing at age sixty five, i wrote a bit about him, and it seems appropriate for today as well...

"he wasn't a perfect man -or a perfect father- and he would spend some of his talks with us (my two brothers, two sisters and me) as we took our nightly turns nursing him in the final year of his life, apologizing for what he thought were his failings...i'm glad i was able to tell him this: there was never a day in my life, and believe me when i say i was an imperfect son, that i had any shadow of doubt of his love for me, or that he would give up his very life for me in an instant. that to me is the perfect definition of success as a father, and i told him that if i can just leave my own three children with that knowledge, and the love and peace and security that it imbues, then i will consider myself a success as a father too."

happy father's day, dad...i love you and think of you often, and i know that we will see each other again...some day, some how.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

rat rod on flea-bay...

i'd always liked the '54 chevy trucks...the sculpted and relatively homely design was the last before the straight streamline shapes that began for chevy in both trucks and cars in '55. plus, i was born the same year and i always felt a bit of ugly kinship with them.

so when i turned 50 about five years ago, i looked around for a hot rod driver that would be fun without being a show truck or trailer whore. this is what i found and it's been a blast to own and drive, but it spends most of its time in the garage, and i guess it's time to let somebody else drive and enjoy her.

i started an ebay auction last night, item number 250446134866 for anybody who wants to check it out. notice there's another similar but way more show-worthy truck that started on auction about a half hour after mine; it's worth checking out too, if you like this design.


update sat. 6/20: it's sold!

a fellow and his wife saw the truck on ebay and drove over this morning from their home near fort myers. after a thorough checkout (about two hours!) i let him beat me down a bit and drive the old girl home. i hated to see her go, but the guy had been looking for a hotrod truck for over a year and he promised to give her a good home, so i'm happy, he's happy, and my wife is especially happy to have the extra garage space, win-win-win, just like a good transaction should be.

so long little truck, it's been fun; we may be the same age but i have a feeling you're going to be around long after i'm gone...and that pleases me. jtc

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

a visit from "the bureau"

wow. thirty years as an ffl and i had exactly three on-site inspections from atf. and while i had a couple of interactions with the fdle (florida dept. of law enforcement) related to gun transactions that would allow enhanced charges against defendants in ongoing cases, i sure as hell never had, or expected to have, a visit from the f.b.i. but that's just what happened to clint last week.

one thing is sure; being a firearms dealer is different now. i sold my pawn store to clint at the end of '05 but had already dropped my ffl a year before rather than renew for another three years. that would have been my first renewal since 9/11 and what had always been a process of just sending in the renewal form and notating any changes was going to be way more involved; an on-site interview and a much more in-depth inspection of inventory and logs. not that i had anything to hide...i stayed on top of the paperwork to avoid any difficulties and i always thought that the occasional atf trace request to which i responded quickly and accurately helped to avoid more in-person visits.

but the gun business for me, aside from my personal enjoyment, was more of a necessity to be able to accept firearms as loan collateral and buy collections as part of estate purchases rather than as a full-fledged gunshop. yes, i sold quite a few new guns because i liked to keep my cases and racks full and i was the only storefront ffl in town. but i operated on a pretty thin margin to be competitive with wallyworld (they were still full-line gun retailers for most of that time), and i did prepaid special orders at cost plus $50 for any gun. this helped me keep some nice older stuff in stock because of trade-ins, and it's the vintage guns that i enjoyed the most. but eventually the concern for liability helped me make the final decision to drop my licensed status.

but this f.b.i. stuff is a new twist...clint said two agents from miami spent ten minutes in a "get-acquainted" visit, and keyed on asking him to be vigilant and contact them when he suspected anyone or anything of being "unusual", with the implication that they were looing for terrorist profiles and expecting ffl's to do the profiling for them. that's a whole 'nother level of responsibility, liability, and judgement that i for one am glad not to be a part of. i don't know how widespread this f.b.i. contact is, and i'm wondering if it is a veiled scare tactic intended to further reduce the number of licensed dealers. i'd be interested in knowing other ffl's experiences and their sense of what it's really all about.


Friday, June 12, 2009

star wars!

apparently, the invasion from outer space has begun...

our little german friend may be exagerrating a bit, though...that pebble-sized meteorite "sent him flying"? unpossible, as any gunnie knows. of course reflex action might have caused him to send himself flying; i guess i'd be jumping around too, wondering who the hell was shooting at me! just a warning shot from the klingons maybe?


Thursday, June 11, 2009

degradation of dialogue...

on that at least, huffin' po's michael rowe got it right.

so somehow, the octogenarian loonybird (whose weapon of choice to take up the fuhrer's cause of killing all the jews was a .22 rifle) was goaded and guided in his cause by coulter, o'reilly, limbaugh, and...palin? yeah, that's a fine and thoughtful dialogue you got goin' there, mikey.

and nbc's evening news just led its bit on the museum shooter by saying..."he might have been driven by an obsession with guns as well as bigotry..." well, an obsession with .22 rifles anyway...


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

happy happy birthday, baby...

my girl turns 55 today, two-and-a-half months ahead of me. and she still gets carded when buying wine at the grocery kidding. we were both seventeen when we married, and if i do say so myself, i was a cute little feller back then. little did she (or i) know, that soon my hair would start streaking gray and be nearly all silver by the time we were in our thirties. and we won't mention that the cuteness seems to have, um...lessened over the years.

not her though. she is the most beautiful, young-looking, blue-eyed blonde around. and the beauty goes way more than skin deep. she and i had our differences over the years as you might expect being together since high school; we even separated for a time in our mid-twenties. but through thick and thin (and there was a fair amount of thin), not only did she stick with me, but her strength, love for her family, and awe-inspiring determination and capacity for hard work is what got us through the tough times. the morning after her birthday she headed to tampa to attend 7 year old granddaughter Grace's dance recital; that's them in the's that for resemblance, and how can that old girl be fifty five freakin' years old?

while i usually get my jollies every year for the few months that she is a year older than me by informing restaurant waiters, cashiers, and total strangers of the fact, and watching them look from me to her back to me with an expression of doubt and disbelief, i won't be doing that this year...because, you know, she's officially a senior citizen now and deserving of a little more respect;o)

happy birthday, my girl. you know and i know that i would be lost (maybe even dead) without you. i love you and i promise to do my best to be worthy of you, provide for you and take care of you in your -ahem- golden years.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

modern priorities...

today is the 65th anniversary of the all-out allied invasion that turned the tide of ww11 and quite possibly won the war. so when the google artist who commemorates significant events with a creative redesign of their name put his talent to work for today, you'd expect what, landing craft, parachutes, a background filled with planes, and surf tinged in red?

well, no...see today is also the 25th anniversary of tetris, the iconic and addictive little time-waster that we all know and love/hate. so of course the google logo today is a conglomeration of little squares.

the priorities of the modern world...which probably would not exist as we know it had it not been for the awesome effort and sacrifices made on june 6, 1944. i for one will be thinking of a 65th anniversary today, and i may never play tetris again.

google is a powerful and amazingly useful tool, and its operators are business and creative genius...but they haven't got a clue.


Friday, June 5, 2009

the (new) china syndrome

are you just dying to drive the new chinese vehicles that are in our near future? good, 'cause you probably will.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

jon stewart: not totally sucky (this time)

i'm not jon stewart's biggest fan to say the least. but last night's edition had an hilarious and spot-on mocking rant on the bobo administration's foray into the car and insurance industries...segueing into a not-totally negative and pretty damn funny bit with john gad on the relative investment virtues of ar-15's vs. ak-47's.

sadly, what i thought would be the highlight of the show (and the original reason i tuned in) was an interview with one of my favorite writer/humorists, p.j. orourke. but p.j. disappointed mightily, in a very lame promo of his new book. the book is about one of my other favorite subjects, classic American cars, and i haven't read it so i will assume (and hope) that it is up to p.j.'s normal excellent standard. but the interview was truly pathetic. oh well, you can't have everything.


Monday, June 1, 2009

sotomayor: good for gun biz!

gotta print up some more posters for the gun shop walls...we'll put hers, "salesman of the month"right under barry's, "salesman of the year".

keep it up, bobo!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

i remember you...

and on a day that has become known more for heralding the beginning of summer than for honoring our ultimate heroes, i thank you.

because of you, my family and i live lives of peace, prosperity and freedom...and in spite of everything else that goes on in the world, your sacrifice has earned my undying gratitude.

may God keep your souls safe and warm forever.


Monday, May 18, 2009

quid pro quo

in recognition of and repayment for the fawning adoration bestowed upon obama by the late and shameless "journalist" tim russert, joe biden is dispatched to stand in for tim as commencement speaker at wake forest university and to extend the year-long eulogy of him.

they probably figured even biden couldn't screw this up. and i'm sure it reinforces in ol' joe's mind (and everyone else's) just what a critically important cog he is in the bobo machine.


the ceo of "the state" has spoken...

and just like that, your next new vehicle will require a stop every few hundred miles to drain off the excess fuel.

next up: comprehensive unlimited medical care for all, with those greedy medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies limited to a maximum annual charge of $100 per person.

then we'll address all this war stuff going on in the world; if we send them a few gazillion in bailouts and ask them nicely to be good, i'm sure all those bad guys with bad attitudes will love us and join in a nice round of kumbaya...


Thursday, May 14, 2009

i just couldn't resist...

what can i say? i'm a sucker for a good deal, especially if it's a good deal on a good gun. the officer's enhanced colt that clint bought as part of a nice package from a collector (see the rest in my last post) just kept calling my name...i don't really know why, it won't be my carry gun and it's surely not the ideal target plinker with it's short grip and an appetite for dollar-a-shot ammo.'s purty ain't it? clint's 14-day hold period expires tomorrow, and it is a good deal; inner and outer boxes, both mags, all the papers including blank warranty, and it looks to have been used very little if at all. so i guess this one's coming home with me.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

some days it was fun to be the pawnbroker...

after thirty years, most of the activity in the pawn shop had become routine, boring, and sometimes downright annoying...which is why i sold out to clint and semi-retired a few years ago.

but when clint called friday to ask if he could delay his regular weekly payment to me until next week because he needed all available funds for a gun collection he was buying, it reminded me that there could be some really fun days.

a middle-aged fellow from the small town south of us needed to liquidate his collection to help his daughter take advantage of a great buy on a house, but didn't have time to go the private-sale or gunbroker route, preferring the immediacy and liability waiver of selling to an clint bought: a stainless colt officer's model .45, a model 21 s&w target pistol, an s&w mo. 60 .357, a glock 30, a ruger mo. 1 in .300 mag., a winchester 94 in .444, and a couple of ruger single-action big bores...i haven't seen them yet, but clint says most are lnib, and his total investment? $2600.

i got over wanting to keep the cream from nice buys like this years ago, but i'd be sorely tempted to hang onto a few of these...clint's cashflow situation is such that most of them will go on gunbroker as soon as his two-week hold period expires; should be a turnover of around double for him.

i'm going to stop by his shop tomorrow and take a few pics, and i'll post some of them here...kind of dangerous, though; my son would like that glock mini .45 to go with his .40, and the colt will probably be calling my name. but...must...resist...


update: well, my son had to take a look at the g30, so he went to clint's to take the pics for me. the ruger 1 and the m94 .444 were not on display and clint was tied up with customers, so no pics of those, and the s&w mo.21 is presold and locked away, but here's the rest (not great pics, they're through the glass as clint has them in the showcase until they make their debut on gunbroker just in case a local buyer pops up.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

r.i.p. jack kemp

regardless of your opinion of his politics, his is an amazing life story...

and speaking of amazing, am i the only one who is in awe of newmedia's ability to react to news? just as the legacies are reporting kemp's death as a breaking story, wiki already has his biography updated to his death today. no wonder oldmedia is so quickly waddling down the path of the dodo...


Friday, May 1, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


presidential worshipper...i mean reporter, chuck todd says:

"...conservatives and liberals alike can agree on one thing after 100 days of President Barack Obama: This guy is going to be consequential."

roger that, chuck.

sadly, our kids and grandkids, probably our greatgrandkids, will be the ones who will have to pay those consequences.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

short for vilem and tomas?

here's a sweet love story...

but why the heck did they name these czech twins bill and tom?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

facing a whole herd of elephants...

i had read this story, but hadn't seen or heard from the guy himself.

wow. his business was similar to my son's and mine...thank God we're not in l.a.


via xavier

Sunday, April 12, 2009


and that's all i need to know.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

i have no words...

the ignorance and naivete demonstrated here just takes my breath away.

"Former ATF agent Gerald Nunziato pointed out that if Samaha had wanted to, he could have caused a lot of damage with the guns he purchased."

true enough. but i could do a lot more damage with my hemi 4x4 truck by plowing into a crowd...if i wanted to. man, how did the feds let that genius slip away?

h/t to say uncle


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

taking recycling to a whole 'nother level...

via jason in comments at the munchkin wrangler...

"As an aside to the sudaphed comment, we here in your former town of residence in the southeast learnt something last week! Evidently the body only processes about 40% of the meth that dopers ingest. The other 60% comes out in the urine stream. Dealers are now, literally, accepting PISS as a form of partial payment for meth. They then take this meth laden piss, and evidently, ala waterworld… distill the meth out of the piss, and resell it…"

and i thought smoking drano and rat poison was as bad as it gets. damn.


i've done some shooting at this range

but i'm glad as hell i wasn't there sunday to see this.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

finally, a little culture...

man, i was so tired of being rep'ed to the royalty by bush, with his lack of deference and proper kowtowing to the bluehairs of the old world...

now for the refinement and smooooth manners of the One. a dvd collection for the prime minister, and an ipod loaded with show tunes for the queen...and the she-beast manhandles (heh) the old girl.

now that's the class that we've been yearning for...our standing in the world is restored.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

welcome home again, discovery...

thirteen days and five million miles after blasting off, discovery and her crew glided back into fla today, with the usual giant thud of a sonic boom that always catches me by surprise even when i knew it was coming.

call it a flying greyhound bus, a garbage scow, or whatever...but it still amazes me that this thing can ride piggyback into space, function like a giant mobile workshop/travel trailer, and fly back home with pinpoint precision.

only a few more missions to come for these awesome machines, hard to believe they've been flying with almost no configuration changes for nearly three decades...i hope their retirement won't spell the end of our space program.

welcome home.



sham guy pinched for pummeling prostitute...

damn, dude; you gotta let the "makeup guy" do his thing before the "camera guy" does his.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

apparently it's been decided...

that this free-market capitalism thing just ain't working out...

i guess we've been doing it wrong the past couple of centuries.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

race day in sebring...

the twelve hours of sebring race is under way here, about an hour and a half to go...i just took ozzie the dachshund for a walk and with the stiff easterly breeze i could hear the racers going through the gears even though the track is a good ten miles from my home. those grand prix prototype cars along with the normal contingent of ferraris, porsches, and corvettes running in their respective classes are deafening when you're at the track, but at this distance it sounds a bit like an angry gaggle of crotchrockets.

i haven't been out to the race in a few years; for one thing since i semi-retired we've been spending most of our time up at the north georgia place and haven't been in town for the mid-march madness, but also i don't see all my old buds with the sheriff's office that used to toss me hundred-dollar supertickets which made it feasible for me to drive out and check out the craziness for a few hours on raceday. most race fans know that sebring is serious business for the teams and the sponsors; several indy-500 winners are driving this year along with all the big names in lemans-style roadracing and the usual batch of celebrities-cum-racers, but for the fans, it's all about the party which lasts for a solid week with camping, drinking, cruising, and flashing being the main attractions. that's not my cup of tea (anymore), but it's still a trip to take it all in once in a while.

and even if you don't go out to the track, the event is unescapable in this little town, as all the restaurants, hotels, and the main highway are loaded with racers and'll never see more ferraris, porsches, audis, vettes, and other exotic vehicles driven by rich wannabes in such a concentrated place than at sebring during race week...quite a change from the normal winter crowd of snowbird q-tips driving forty mph in the left-hand lane in their caddys and towncars, and a pretty cool change of pace.

well, i'm going to watch the final laps on speed-tv; they're covering the race flag to flag, and for an old fart it's a hell of a lot more comfortable. the audi turbo-diesel has had a lock on the overall for several years (although porsche shocked them last year), but in the last few races, the peugeot has given them a run. and this year everyone was surprised when acura's brand new entry won the pole with one of those indy champs as the anchor driver. should be an interesting finish.


update: race just ended at 10:30 p.m., and surprise! audi wins again...those krauts can build a hotrod; ho hum.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

now lemmee get dis straight...

you puts de lime in de coconut...sorry, i can't write that first line without my pea brain adding the second.

what i meant was, let me get straight just how it is a capitalist economy works: apparently the stock market zoomed up 380 today based largely on the head of citibank saying they're showing a profit for the first quarter...and all it took was taking a few bil from sam, burning through that, and coming back and saying, hey listen, why don't you just buy into this great biz, you know, gimmee another decade's worth of national output, and we'll give you this here certificate saying you own a third of the joint -wink,wink-.

then we'll get the head of the big printing press to say that "we won't allow the big banks to fail..." so, hell, we can't go wrong. we'll just keep on keepin' on and those taxpayer patsies will keep us propped up; what could possibly go wrong?

what...the...fluck is going on? lenin must be grinnin'.

well, back to the puts de lime in de coconut and drink 'em bot' toget'er,
you puts de lime in de coconut den you feel better...

nah, i'm gonna have to have something a little stronger than that.


Monday, March 9, 2009

war in the mountains and desert...

and i don't mean afghanistan or iraq.

this is just f'n stupid. the only reason for the existence of this shit is the ignorant, misguided, and self-serving "war on drugs"...a misnomer if there ever was one for what in reality is the "war for drugs".

so let's throw a few billion at it...yeah, that'll work; who the hell do they think is going to wind up with that money, those supplies, and all that training? actually, they know who will and say so right in the story:

"The violence that most concerns U.S. authorities is the rivalry between Gulf cartel thugs known as Los Zetas — many of them former military and police officers trained in counternarcotics tactics in the United States — and Los Negros, the Sinaloa cartel’s narco-military brigade."

so let's just train up some reinforcements for when their "internecine" wars have depleted their supplies, right?

and while we're at it, let's go ahead and throw the blame for all that firepower on the right of Americans to own the means to protect themselves from these thugs as they "extend their network from inner U.S. cities to suburban and rural areas.”

decriminalize the possession and use of personal amounts of this shit, and this entire "problem" dries up and blows away...and all those "overlords" can then just get in line to swim the rio grande like proper wetbacks should. and that two billion bucks? that would build a helluva wall, wouldn't it?


Sunday, March 8, 2009

a year done come and gone...

yesterday was a year since i decided to blather a bit here as well as in comments on some of my preferred blogstops. i'm not very prolific, and i don't really write for others to read (good thing since few do), but it's nice to have a place to throw down a few thoughts now and then and have them saved; for what possible purpose i have no idea.

it's been a pretty shitty year in a lot of ways that are worldly, but personally i can't complain too much. my son sold his business in north georgia and started a new one back here in fla which i'm helping him get off the ground, so we're spending most of our time here and not in the ga mountains that i greatly prefer; we're selling both of the houses up there (great timing for that, eh?) but we'll still spend time in that area in the summer to escape the stifle here.

i'm old enough that most of the bad decisions being made on a national and global scale right now won't have a huge effect on me, unless of course one of the kettle of krazies on the world stage decide that it's their "time". but it's hard to have much confidence in the future for my kids and grandkids...i guess my parents must have had similar thoughts during my youth in the tumultuous 60's and early 70's; we can only hope and pray that these difficult times, too, will pass.

i doubt i'll do much posting in the coming year; i'll have to be pretty active in eric's business, and we hope to sell both the ga. houses and maybe even the fla. house this year and find a small acreage place around ocala/gainesville so the kids and grandkids can get to us conveniently, and us to them. but i'll still drop my two cents now and then here and in the few places i like to follow. bless us all as we meander through this phase of life in what is still the greatest nation in the world.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

hey, it's the thrifty thing to do...

if you're in the midst of an argument with some dink over right to carry, and all the obvious reasoning just doesn't take, tell him you just want to save him some money...


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"hold the eulogies..."

yeah, i don't blame you, must be hard listening to all those gilded accolades knowing that at any moment mary jo's folks might show up to offer their version of your uh...heroism.

besides, there'll be a nice "eulogy" waiting for you in the hereafter; of course it'll probably be more like a "roast"...heh.

oh, and have a real happy 77th birthday kopechne would have been 69 come july, but thanks to you she was granted the wistful wish of so many; to be forever 29...i guess folks should be careful of what they wish for, eh? but i can't help but wonder, as all your friends and comrades sing your praises, what would have been the life story of the only child of joseph and gwen kopechne if, you know, you had been man enough to try to save her and not just your sorry, sorry self?

politics is politics; a man can choose to be an admirer and disciple of jefferson or lenin, but you're either a man or you're not. you? not. you were and are a heartless, spineless, cowardly bastard...but then you know that, don't you, teddy?


Friday, February 13, 2009

that's the way ya do it, see? just pucker up and...

like i said, this old girl (and bo himself of course), are gonna ride this thing all the way home!

it's easy! just go to a bo revival, keep your hand in the air, cry when he calls on you, and swoon when he lays hands (and lips!) on you...and all your dreams come true. man, he's potentate, messiah, and the wiz all rolled up in one big tootsie roll wrapper!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

hell, turns out i was the one doing it all wrong...

well, sonuvabitch! if i'da known this i never would have used up my cash to pay off the mortgage on my florida house and a make big down payment on the mountain place so as to, you know, prevent foreclosure!

who knew the cool thing to do was borrow 110% of value (which equates to more like 150% of value now), and agree to a mortgage that "resets" to a rate and payment equal to more than i made per month?

my question now is, when do i need to stop making payments to time it just right so that father "o" will pay off the balance for me? gosh, he's a lot wealthier and more generous than i would have thought a career lowlevel politician and "organizer" could be...what a guy!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ya'll are doing it wrong!

tam has a post hilariously mocking some pathetic sheeple...i mean people...who just can't go on living 'cause they can't get barryo to give 'em the time of day...but they need to watch how one old florida girl did it...change your strategy, ya'll! let bo get some airtime out of the deal and it'll all be okay...


those folks are just going about it all wrong...just caught the local teevee news wherein the focus was on bo making an appearance in the fort myers, fl neighborhood called lehigh acres, about an hour from us here in sebring.

lehigh got some national focus because it's a vast lowland (swamp) area that was semi-developed during the sixties fla land boom but sat dormant until the recent fever that swept the nation had thousands of houses being built for folks with no money and no job; and surprise, now a shitload of them are in a great venue for the one to get some airtime for himself.

and to really capitalize on the limelight, ol' barry went around the room calling on some folks to relate their tales of woe, saving one old girl for last who said she was homeless, but "we need more than just a park to pitch a tent in, we need our own kitchens and our own bedrooms in our own homes" (no mention of how she planned to pay for it, but it was pretty obvious that she thought bo should just "provide" it).

so, anyway, she finishes her whiney spiel, and he ends his little meeting by going out to her in the crowd, hugging her, and telling her "we're going to see what we can do for you". ain't he just the sweetest angelic thang?

as the news story closed, the reporter said after the cameras were off and barry had gotten his exposure, the lady was crowded with people falling all over themselves to find out how they can "help" her.

so those worshippers you linked to just need to take her as a guide; wait for the cameras, hold up your hand for an hour or so, and cry on cue...that's how to get barry to lay hands on 'em, and get some great freebies to boot.

now the national news is coming on, using a snip of this same meeting in their preview...let's watch and see their take. this old girl (and bo himself of course), are gonna ride this thing all the way home!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Obama administration says it will cancel 77 drilling leases near Utah parks...

well, it might be news to some, but it sure ain't no surprise. 'cause how in the hell are we gonna get people to support wind-up cars, windmills, and zee greeen technology with two dollah gas?

gotta cancel drilling and kill exploration (especially in alaska where it'll piss off the governor there) so we can jack up that oil price and justify all of our admirable causes, yes?

bonus! robert redford offers his expert opinion...snicker.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Challenger and her precious cargo...

pic from tam's


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

rule five: "you can't fix stupid"*

when four rules just ain't enough...

how can you be this dumb and still make it through eight frickin' decades? why tempt fate? leave the firearms alone...even when they're "not loaded".


*apologies to ron white.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

looking forward with "hope"...

anybody who's ever even casually glanced at this blog knows that the "o" was not my first choice to be the new elected leader of the free fact in my view he ranks near, if not at, the very bottom of the very long list of erstwhile candidates.

that being said, he is indeed the new elected leader of the free world, meaning he is my president too. and once i am able to stifle the autoresponse of regurgitation that is the normal reaction to being forcefed something extremely unpalatable, i'm going to do my best to support him and his policies as they relate to our relationship with the rest of the world...because we are all Americans, and united we stand.

but i do fervently hope, and even somewhat believe, that the realities of the office and the world will bring a necessary and cautious deliberation to the euphoric mantra and mission of "change" that was the centerpiece of his campaign. indeed, that has already begun, as witnessed by the recent disclaimers as to the difficult road ahead and the need for patience and controlled "expectations" as we move forward into the new reality, here in the brave new world.

congratulations, Mr. President, may God bless you, your administration, and most especially, the United States of America.


Monday, January 19, 2009

in honor of dr. king...

i'm not a fan of mlk day being a national holiday. it devalues the honor that is implied by setting aside such a day to honor and observe far more significant milestones in our history...

but i'll say this: listening to his speeches now, with the retrospect and maturity gained as this country worked through the turmoil and did the right thing in respecting the rights of all citizens, makes me realize that this peaceable man was far more deserving of the honor of being the first black man to hold our highest office than the "one" who will be crowned tomorrow.

not that either of them possess(ed) the experience and capabilities required to be the leader of the free world...just that of the two, mlk would be far and away the better, less divisive, and probably far more effective choice.

r.i.p., martin luther king jr....let's hope your vision and methods will live within the hearts and minds of those who follow.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

support greenpeace...

make that green piece

a little sad...but funny!

via xavier.


on a side note...

i turned comments back on this a.m.; i turned 'em off a month ago when a cautionary (okay maybe it was a little dickish) comment i made at the breda fallacy turned into an allout (but fun!) internecine 100-comment flamewar with the defenders of her honor, some of which accused me of trying to drive comments to my own blog...and since i don't give a shit about that stuff, i turned 'em off...but now they're back on, so if you feel the urge to say something pithy, or pissy for that matter, go for it.


"ya followin' me, camera guy?"

i can see it now, that annoying twerp on the shamwow ads doing his schtick for the brand-new, brought to you by the letters g-o-v and d-u-m-b doing a hustle for a twofer...

turn in that old gas-guzzler now and get $4500 of otherpeoplesmoney! throw an old gun or two in the trunk and we'll double it! but hurry, 'cause we can't do this all day!

man, i can see the twinkle in the eyes of all the buyherepayhere used car dealers as they contemplate emptying out that back lot full of $200 clunkers at four and a half large apiece...kinda like i had in mine when a nearby county did $150 wallyworld vouchers for anything even resembling a firearm no questions asked. that box full of junk that i thought i wouldn't sell to my worst enemy? well, i was wrong, and i did. then i bought four brand-new 10/22's at sam's place for about what they cost me wholesale.

hmm, i need to buddy up with old fred down at the scrap yard; those dinosaurs that come chugging in that he pays a few hun for, i'm gonna offer hime five each for all he can get for me.

man, who the fuck is running this monkeyhouse anyway?


the pop culture prez...

well, there you have it, finally an honest explanation of why a person with no experience or credibility at all will in two days ascend to the highest office in the world...hollywood said it could and should be, the media said "hell, yeah", and the sheeple said "duh, okay".


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

back in fla...

quickie trip up to north ga. to check on things and make a deal with the realty agent to lease-purchase my son's house for herself with a side deal to sell our own place that is close by with the fee for that and some handyman work by her husband to count as their down payment to buy the son's place...clear as mud, right?

a little complicated and "creative", but a win-win if it works out okay, and right now who the hell needs three houses? so eleven hours going up due to lousy traffic, and nine hours coming back four days later pulling a trailer full of stuff wifey wanted from the georgia place...not much fun, but overall a pretty productive trip.

sometimes, you just do what you gotta do...


Monday, January 5, 2009

there but for the Grace of God, go i...

the nature of my business for thirty years gave me a better than even chance of facing the same situation that this gentle man did...i am thankful every day that i did not. but if i had, or if i ever do, i could only ask and hope that i handle it and deal with it as well as he did. may God have mercy on his conscience, on the souls of the two dead men, and on the hearts of their loved ones.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

get it while the gettin's good!

just a few miles up i-575 from our north georgia place is the little town of jasper is a nice small town with some good history...civil war stuff, the nelson rifle was made nearby, and the marble quarries produce the bulk of marble used in the country...including almost all of the monuments at arlington. but jasper still doesn't have a wal-mart, thank goodness, there are still a few bastions of innocence left (of course there is one within twenty miles both north and south). and there has been growth...especially new neighborhoods full of commuters that work in atl, and commercial growth along 575 (actually it's 515 since 575 ends right about at our place and becomes sr 515 aka sonny perdue parkway...).

and included in that growth is a place called the bargain barn. now the bargain barn has a long history here, but they took the leap and built a new place on the highway after a big fire wiped out the old one. and this place is big as a football field on the ground floor and another football field on the second floor. if you want outdoor sports stuff, forget dick's or bass pro or gander or anyplace else, because the bargain barn has 'em beat. every outdoor garment there is, every boot and shoe, an archery department that includes the most bows i've ever seen in one place, along with all the accessories and guys and gals who know their shit selling them. fishing stuff? aisles and aisles of it. the biggest case knife department you can imagine, like a self contained case store...and other top blades as well. ah, then we work our way upstairs to the hunting and gun departments. a whole area of tree stands fully assembled for tryout, gun safes of every brand, size, and weight. an "optics" department second to none including every leupold made, and dummy guns to try them out on.

and then the guns...ah, yes. five full time guys working the counters. every browning rifle and shotgun is in stock. racks of remingtons, berettas, rugers, and stacks of backstock in view in the back room. ten cases of handguns, though the counter guy told me their inventory level is the lowest he's seen it in the ten years he's worked there, they're still loaded with glocks, springfields, kimber, naa, taurus, charter, and the best stock i've recently seen of smith and wesson, including most of the j's. and they haven't inflated their prices to take advantage of the obama sales boom. standard glock models for 499, naa's for 200, charters for 200, even the smiths were low compared to anywhere i've seen recently. and they were running a sale, 5% off on all guns, 10% on ammo and gear.
and busy? if there's a recession it ain't here...the parking lot holds 200 and i had a hard time finding a spot. let's hope these guys can keep getting inventory because they do as good a job as any place i've seen of stocking it, displaying it, demo'ing it, with personable, knowledgable people selling it. bravo, bargain barn!

i didn't buy anything but i sure had a fun hour there. then when i left i pulled into the waffle house for a bite of lunch; it's next door to a race trac c-store that usually has the cheapest gas around here...and i couldn't believe the sign...1.259 for regular, haven't seen that in a long damn time. reg. was 1.65 when i left sebring, fl yesterday, and i saw it for 1.49 on the highway inside ga. where the tax is lower, but a buck and a quarter? lady at the waffle house counter said they had a real old-fashioned gas war going in town; a new chain store opened up the road and they're fighting it out on gas and 12-packs of cokes...two for four fifty...that's less than nineteens cents apiece.

i wonder what the law is about loading up a truck with barrels full of gasoline and taking it back to fla? no, i wouldn't do it but it's tempting, 'cause you know that shit ain't gonna last. now if this would've happened in the summer, i could have pulled the motorhome out of mothballs and took that alaska trip i've been putting off. it holds 65 gallons and gets about 8 mpg...a little oppressive at four bucks a gallon and you're spending $250 every 500 miles for gas alone. but of course that was the plan, wasn't it? just wait for june, cheap gas will just be a memory, but it's fun while it lasts.


Friday, January 2, 2009

six days on the road but i'ma gonna make it home tonight...

well, it was eleven hours, not six days. but for the trip from sebring fl to north ga that usually takes me eight hours when i'm flyin' low and catchin' the breaks, it sure as hell seemed like days.

i had to come up to meet the realtor who has my son's house listed for sale and hasn't sold it, but now she wants the place for herself if i'll finance it or do a lease option...i'm trying to come up with a plan that will be win-win for that. so anyway, i thought by leaving fla today instead of on the weekend i would miss the traffic headed back nawth after the holidays, and i figured there'd be a lot more southbound than north; we've already got most of the q-tip population from ohio, mich, and indy in central fla. but instead, the northbound fla turnpike and long stretches of i-75 were multi-lane parking lots moving like molasses while south flowed free as water. and pulling my trailer so's i can take some stuff back to wifey from the other house up here kept me about ten mph under the norm when traffic did open up a bit.

anyway, i finally made it in one piece, and the plan is to make a deal with the realtor to do some spruce-up work on this house and have her act as seller's agent with the fees to apply to a down payment for her to buy my son's's a good deal for her since she won't have to come up with cash, and if it means both places get sold it'll save me a ton of outgo for two houses that we don't use now that my son has moved back to i said, win-win if it works out, we'll see.

i shouldn't bitch about the trip i guess...i left seventy five degrees and it's only in the forties here, whereas tam is headed from the thirties into the teens and possible ice in her little rear wheel drive krauterskate; at least maybe her traffic will be lighter than mine was...anyway, eleven hours on the road is rough on an old fart, so it's off to bed.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

here's to a fine '09...

well, they dropped the ball in nyc, the neighbors scared the shit out of the dogs with fireworks, and i kissed and made a toast with my sweetie at the stroke of midnight to welcome a new year and say goodbye and good riddance to the old one.

i've heard people say the next year couldn't be any worse than the last one, but all we have to do is look around the world to realize that in spite of a grinding war, financial meltdown, political polarity, and all manner of crises, we've still got it better than everybody else in the world, and most important, we have the ability to determine for ourselves whether '09 will be better than '08.

and my only resolution (i gave up on getting prettier, younger, or thinner years ago) is to do my best for me and mine to make it so; here's wishing all the best for all of you as well.