Tagged: guns

Let’s Talk About Gun Laws

I went to a relative’s house for Thanksgiving this last year, and someone who wasn’t really part of the family was hanging around. It wasn’t awkward, as such, it was just one of those things that makes you frown for a second and pull your head back a little, and then you move on and eat a bunch of turducken. But I did have a conversation with her that I thought was worth mentioning. It was one of those things that made me frown for a second and then pull my head back a little.

So I walked into the house and shook all the dudes’ hands and kissed all the ladies’ knuckles and hugged all the kids. The usual. Then I said hi to this woman. And she saw the handgun I was wearing in a holster under my jacket, on my hip. So she sees my gun and says, “You think you’re going to need that on Thanksgiving?” and sort of made that face. You know the one. The one that says, “Ooh, you just got burned.” And I looked at her for a second and said, “I don’t know.”

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The Voices in My House

It was two o’clock this morning when I heard the voice. I was lying in bed playing poker on my tablet because – well, for two reasons really. Number one, my red-haired wife is traveling. So I’ve no motivation to go to bed early. And secondly, because I’m insomniac, so there’s rarely any sleep for me these days. And thirdly, because I – wait… I only promised you two. So that’s that. I was, therefore, not awakened by the sound of a voice. But I was startled by it. That’s for sure.

It sounded at first like a woman talking in my kitchen. I was alone in my bedroom with the door closed. So it could have been coming from anywhere. But it sounded about as far away as it could be while still being inside my house and downstairs. The kitchen is the answer to that. I perked up and listened a minute. Then I went back to my poker game. Some people get arrested for taking other people’s money. I get badges. I was well into another good hand when I heard the voice again. And this time it was louder.

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Here be Space: Collector of Collections

I’ve been home since Saturday. But I’m still getting used to it. Like I said before, it feels like I’ve been in a different airport (and hotel) every week. And indeed, I pretty much have. It’s nice to get home and know you’ll be staying there for at least a little while. Our next trip isn’t scheduled until August, so I have at least a month here before I have to use a suitcase again. Gah, I’m so tired of putting stuff into suitcases.

But you know what I’ve found about being back in the house? Well, besides the fact that when you’ve been gone for a week you get to see what your house actually smells like. I’ve found that it’s too big. You know, 7500 square feet can just get overwhelming for a guy like me. No, seriously it’s only about 2500 square feet, but when you’re home alone, it feels like a whole helluva bunch of wasted space. Of course, when you’ve been living out of a suitcase in a hotel room every other week, you start realizing that you’re doing just fine without all your big luscious space. And furthermore, all your stuff.

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SpaceBrew Review: No Country for Old Men

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time – and frankly, the desire – to watch a movie. I’ve been reading a lot more lately, and what with having three kids who need what seems like almost constant attention until almost nine o’clock, it seems I never really have time. How, you might ask, do I have time to read, but not watch movies? Well, the answer is rather obvious if you ask me. Movies involve a lot more than just yourself. And not all movies I like to watch are rated PG or below.

Anyway, whatever supernatural forces favored me, the stars aligned, and I was finally granted a few hours to sit back and watch some good cinema. I chose No Country For Old Men. As always, my red-haired wife fell asleep after about forty minutes, leaving me to absorb the picture basically alone. Allow me to tell you what I thought.

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Tales from a Repo Man

Thursday night when my phone rang and a friend asked me if I could do a favor, I said yes. But I had no idea it would make for such an interesting weekend, and with so many stories. Of course, some of those stories are better told in person than in writing, so they won’t be mentioned here, but overall, it made for a very entertaining and interesting weekend. Will you allow me to tell you about it? Good. And there’s your opening paragraph.

So the call I got from a friend, who shall remain nameless (and genderless) called to ask if I would run up and repossess a vehicle for him/her. Well, I’ve never been called the Repo Man. And the only experience I have with repossessing a vehicle is when my truck got stolen when I was in the service. I came back home for a weekend, discovered my pickup had been stolen out of my dad’s driveway, and went and got it back. I happened to know where it was, who was likely to have stolen it, and so I got it back. But I’m not really much of a repo man. Well, I wasn’t… until yesterday.

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Second Gun Not Necessary

I was awakened abruptly by the sound of the front door being closed forcefully. You have to slam my front door for it to close all the way. Someone had slammed it. Many times I’ve been awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of something that could have been a door, but this time, I knew. You know how they say when it happens, you’ll know? Well, this time I knew. My eyes had popped open as the sound of the door in the otherwise quiet house echoed in my head.

I jumped out of bed where I had been sleeping hard. I had been asleep for around forty minutes. I slung my headlamp over my shoulder because it was the first light I was able to find in the darkness. I also don’t want to be wearing a target around my forehead when I’m clearing the house. Then I grabbed my pistol and turned on my bedside lamp. As I’m standing there naked by the bed, my red-haired wife rolls over and says, “What’s going on?”

“It’s go-time, babe.”

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Old People Like Applebee’s

There’s an old man who lives in my neighborhood, right across the street. He and his wife are probably in their late 70s, early 80s, possibly late 80s. I’m not very good at judging ages on old people. But yeah, they’re old. He’s a cool old dude. He was a sailor back in his day, so I know he’s got some guns in that house. I’m trying to get on his good side so maybe he’ll put me in his will, because I like guns too.

Anyway, he has this tree in front of his house that is notorious for losing branches. I mean, they’re easily found – it’s like it loses one, we look for a brief period, and say, “Oh, there it is, right beneath the tree from where it fell. How about that.” So it’s not really losing them as such… maybe not even really misplacing them. We’ll just say that branches have a tendency to fall off that damn tree quite often. More than the rest of the trees in the neighborhood.

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Coming Out of the Closet

During the Great Robot Fiasco of 2010 a couple of months ago, where my Pusher and Shover Robots malfunctioned and tried to push my red-haired wife down the stairs (instead of my grandmother), I spent a lot of time in my closets. I spent time in my water closet testing and replacing parts on my air handler. I spent time in my master closet testing and replacing circuit breakers. I even spent time in some of my neighbors’ closets looking through their clothing and enjoying the various scents attached to the legs of their slacks and dresses. But now, my friends, it’s finally time to come out of the closet.

Yeah, see, I really just wanted to say that. It feels good to say it. But it feels even better to finally be out of the closet. See, after several long hours spent in all these closets around my house performing repairs, I realized some of those closets could use a good once-over cleaning. I realized I had junk on my shelves in the master closet that had been sitting there for years. Just shit like picture frames and curtain rod holders, cabinet knobs and stacks of important papers, electron shufflers and relastics diodes. You know, the stuff you find in just about every closet in America.

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I have the beat wife ever.

The title of this column was based upon a Facebook message my wife left me yesterday, for our anniversary. You know how hard it is to type messages on a cellphone when there is no real keyboard? Yeah. Well perhaps tomorrow when Haycomet and I get together for our Bacon Talk, we’ll have something to say about cellphones. Anyway, yesterday, as a lot of you may or may not know, was my red-haired wife’s and my first anniversary. Yes, friends, what that means is that we have been married for most of a year. Or close to a year. Something having to do with a year. And, as the title suggests, she is the beat wife ever.

You see, she says some things like that sometimes, when there are not even any keyboards around. She misspeaks and they become terms of endearment, naturally, for me. Like how she says, “Chipolte” instead of Chipotle. Or she’ll call me her “Knight and shining armor”. You know, cute things that red-haired wives do that make us smile. But yesterday, for our anniversary, she did what was perhaps to go down in history as one of the awesomest things anyone has ever done for me. She got me a lunchbox.

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Life Lessons From Space: Driving

Well I didn’t finish the video I promised you yet. I got a little busy last evening with some other issues. Oh and get this: I found out that the back door on the pickup rebroke itself. I guess the nuclear putty didn’t hold after all. I’ll have to try some SolaGlue. Meh. Anyway, I’ll put some work into it this weekend amidst all the pool time and beer drinking we have planned. I hope to get it done soon though because it’s gonna be good.

So I realized the other day that when Moonshine did her columns about Life Lessons from a Good Girl (here, here, and here), I started my own series here. But I never finished them. And what’s more, the only topic I wrote about, fighting, is not something with which I am even well versed. I mean, I’ve been in a ton of fights in my life, and I’ve faired pretty well, but I’m not really what anyone would call a fighter. I’m more of a “writer”. You like that? And today there’s sort of a new age of fighters. Dudes have gotten really big and really mean. So I just avoid it at all costs and let my friend Mr Browning handle my confrontations for me.

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I don’t believe in the Goat Man.

After a weekend like I just had, you want to write about it. And the funny thing is, I happen to have a website, so I think I will. Saturday, Byron and Hayley and Step and I went to the horse races out in Grand Prairie. And now I can say with a cute little smirk on my face that yes, dear readers, I did bet on the Preakness. They had nine other races there at the Lone Star Park, but the Preakness was simulcast. You know, shown on the big screen across the track. It wasn’t near as exciting as the local races.

But we had good beer, great fun, and placed a few bets on the races themselves. I only won a few hundred thousand dollars, so it’s not that interesting, and I won’t go into details. Just suffice it to say, the Ones were Cold and the Sun was Hot. Whatever. The point is that we went to the damn horse races and that was the first time I’ve ever bet on them.

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The Great Dove Hunt of 2007

My Pop and I packed up and headed out early Friday morning, the last day of August, heading west. We followed my buddy Stout and his brother David out to the deer lease for opening day of dove season. Wait, that should be capitalized. Opening Day of Dove Season.

So we got out there Friday night and got everything unpacked and settled in at the lake house. We then sat out on the patio and tossed washers for about two hours while drinking beers like we were in a contest. The point of all this was to do as little as possible. To get away for a weekend out into the country – to do as little as possible… To disconnect. To unwind. It was so nice to be able to become one with nature. And the birds. The boids.

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The Mystery of the Keys

I have a keybox mounted in the wall in my secret room. Yes, I built a secret room in my house, because during one of my many excursions into the attic, I noticed an area that didn’t have a ceiling, and there was a bunch of wasted space. So I built it in, utilizing it for something cool. There’s nothing big in there, just my guns and some dirty magazines. You know, the usual. And my keybox. Now this is an American Security Company keybox, mounted between the studs, in my secret room. I have a buddy who works for ASC, so I get a pretty fair discount on their fine products. This keybox is stronger than – well, stronger than something pretty strong. You couldn’t pry it open with a crowbar and a sledgehammer, unless you wanted to.

Anyway, it’s mounted with the lock side right up against a brick wall, so there’s no room to pry it anyway. My point in all this is that you can’t get into that son of a bitch unless you have some dynamite and just a stupid desire to get at my keys. You know, it’d be easier to just steal my car. You know, without the key. Okay, so I’ve told you about the keybox.

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From Panama With Love

I guess I should talk about this. It’s still the source of bad dreams that wake me up during the night, even eight years after the fact. It happened when I was still in the military. Way in. I was sent to Panama on an MRT (a Maintenance Recovery Team) to repair a bird that went down out there. I had been there for about two and a half weeks when we finally got the parts in and made our repairs on the C-130. Typical procedure is that it flies home immediately and we as a crew hitch a ride on it. Well due to circumstances upon which I cannot comment, I had to stay behind for several more days, and would catch a bus to Costa Rica (ugh) and from there, fly into San Antonio. All good.

I was staying in a cheap shitty motel on the outskirts of Santiago, trying to dodge people wherever and whenever I could, lying low. I’d already had several run-ins with the locals and had almost been arrested for being white. I had sent my uniforms and all evidence of my involvement with the US military back on the plane with my team. All I’d been left with was a sidearm. Once my double-stack magazine was empty (and I hoped to God I wouldn’t have to empty it) I was out. Bare as a naked baby’s ass.

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Closet Mods 101

I live in a two-story house, and so my safe is downstairs. But what about stuff I want quick access to in the night – upstairs? Well, my closet – being four feet from my bed – is a good place. I can lock up my knife and gun collection and not have to worry about the kids getting to them, but secondly, I can use it as sort of a panic room if the need ever arises. Some of the modifications I’ll discuss here were done for mere practicality and storage solutions, while others were done in the interest of being prepared for the worst.

Firstly, and I think one of the key notes in creating a safe house in the closet is to make sure the light switch is inside the door. If this isn’t the case, you will need to move it. I had to move mine. It’s fairly easy. Just measure the exact distance from the jamb to the edges of the rectangular cutout, and replicate that measurement directly the other side of that wall, inside the closet. Make sure your breaker is tripped before you start messing with the wires! If you make the cut right, you can use that piece of sheetrock to fill in the hole on the outside, so don’t destroy it! Once you’ve got the hole cut on the inside, pry the switch box away from the stud and twist it toward the inside of the closet. On the inside, pull the plastic switchbox into the cutout where it’s nice and snug, and screw your switch back in along with the cover plate.

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