Thursday, June 30, 2016

I Have Feet

Which are hard to fit...

Finding zapatos that accommodate my 10-1/2 EEEE (or sometimes H) stompers has been a challenge this past half century or so. It's all the more difficult when they have to work with my uniform - black and leather-like.

Last weekend I was in Phoenix at a conference so I visited Ace Uniforms during a lunch break. I was told it would be the Disneyland of uniform stores. It lived up to the hype.

I did some business with Don, getting a couple Blauer Armorskin external armor carriers of the correct size. My recent weight loss moved me from a XL to L. I'd say "Yay," but that means I have to send my armor panels back to Second Chance to be recut. Then I found some ready bags in which to carry our AR500 rifle armor.

Professional business done, my eyes turned to the wall of shoes and boots. First I got a pair of pretty normal looking Bates 3/4 rise boots with zip sides. They fit. They're solid. They're sold!

"Let me show you one more option," s
ays the helpful sales clerk through a sly smile. He hands me a box labeled Under Armor. I thought it was empty. I opened the box to look down on a pair of something that look like boots but which were lighter, much lighter. "DPS loves these," he says. I can see why. My none too dainty hooves are in heaven! They looks like boots, but they feel like bedroom slippers. Mrowww! Zero break-in, total comfort. The Under Armor Valsetz RTS Tactical boot; give 'em a try!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

More Books

For the "To Read" list...

I took my daughter Cassandra to Peregrine Book Company to choose a going away present. She's a fan of Mary Roach so she rounded out her collection with a copy of Spook.

Of course being in a book store meant I couldn't leave without a handful myself, so I added three volumes to my collection as well...

Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity by James O'Donnell

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond

So many books, so little time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Whence Orthodoxy?

An Unbelievable episode got a little unbelievable...

Two nice young Christian fellas were debating whether or not the God of the Christian bible (or Hebrew scriptures) is a God of Wrath (which is apparently pronounced wroth in the UK). Never mind that bible contains the following passages on the topic:

Psalms 7:11 - God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day.
Ezekiel 25:17 - And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.
Nahum 1:2-6 - God [is] jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and [is] furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth [WRATH] for his enemies
Romans 1:18 - For the WRATH of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Matthew 10:28 - And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 
Luke 12:5 - But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 
John 15:6 - If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.
John 3:36 - He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH of God abideth on him.
Revelation 20:15 - And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Hebrews 9:22 - And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 

Thank you
KJV Online!  Emphasis ADDED   

So, according to the Christian's own bible (the KJV, no less) God has wrath, exhibits wrath and anger, and appears also to be big on casting into fire, wreaking vengeance, taking revenge, rebuking furiously, being jealous, shedding blood, and destroying bodies and souls in hell.  

Seems the bible can mean whatever you want it to mean and even not mean what it clearly says...Hmmm.

So I wrote the following post for under the show notes:

Whence Orthodoxy? 
No wonder Christianity has some 30,000 denominations, sects, cults, and spin-offs! Every last one of you sit at your very own private mixing board fitted with dozens, if not hundreds, of sliders with which to match what you choose to believe. From Zero to Ten (and sometimes Eleven) you dial in your feelings, surmises, and conjectures about the following topics (and others) to arrive at your sure and certain faith: 
Number of gods
The attributes of God
The nature of Creation
Predestination to open theism
God as the author of Evil
The nature (and failure) of Omniscience
The power of Satan
Definition of Sin
The effects of The Fall
Total depravity to blank slate
Details of the Incarnation
Attributes of the Christ
Virgin birth
Immaculate conception
Humanity of Jesus
Deity of Jesus
The death of God
The significance of The Cross
Adoptionism to Docetism
Theories of the Atonement
Meaning of the Resurrection
The power of the Holy Spirit
Efficacy of prayer
Importance of the Sacraments
Nature of the Eucharist
Consumption of alcohol
Nature of The Trinity
The existence of Hell
The duration of Divine punishment
The nature of Heaven
The means of Salvation
How many paths to God?
Veneration of Mary
Praying to the Saints
Details of the Rapture
Perseverance of faith
Bible: Curated collection to God Breathed Master Plan
Creationism vs Science
The role of women
Intimate partner violence
Corporal punishment to the death penalty
From color blind to anti-miscegenation
The impact of LGBTQ issues on The Church
If your version of the bible says it you can quote it, harmonize it, or insist on a metaphorical interpretation. If your bible doesn't say it you can infer it, assemble a cumulative case, or please ignorance as needed. You pick, choose, listen, follow, agree, disagree, harmonize, conflate, and confabulate from five millennia of folk wisdom, traditions, the text of your holy book, and the writings of your favorite apologists to arrive at your very own custom version of Christianity, certain in your bones of your correctness and some of you quite comfortable calling those in the congregation across the street heretics. Rather than steering you toward the One True Faith The Church, the Good Book, and The Holy Spirit are offering a self-serve à la carte smorgasbord...

Sunday, June 12, 2016

It's No B&B

But my man cave will now sleep seven adults...

On my way home from work today I took a detour to follow a trail of signs promising an extraordinary yard sale. The placards led me to the million dollar homes part of my neighborhood, which I didn't know existed until today. The sale was as promised.

I made two purchases, and after some rearranging of bookshelves and the recliner, my little log home will now sleep three couples and another full-sized person. There are now two queen beds (one in the bedroom, the other in the front room), a twin futon in the den, and a single day bed in the loft. 

Not bad for $120 and an afternoon's labor.

PS Still only one bath...

Saturday, June 11, 2016

You Are Not So Smart

Not an insult, just the name of a podcast...

While working in the yard I've been binging my way through the back catalogue of the You Are Not So Smart podcast. Just finished Episode 019 – Placebo sleep and other new discoveries in placebo research. Host and interviewer David McRaney has an engaging style, does careful research, and selects interesting speakers. Mr. McRaney is also the author of two books:

McRaney eats a cookie - made from a listener's recipe, some of which sound quite tasty - at the end of each show, a schtick which may be skipped without risk, especially if you're trying to stick to a careful diet.

I Have Pine Needles

64 "lawn" bags of them, and counting...

Having a couple dozen Ponderosa Pines on my property means I'm treated to a thick crop of pine needles and pine cones every spring. I have an appointment to have a trailer hitch installed on the Tribeca so I can haul this all away. In the mean time I'll continue the raking and the bagging and the stacking...

Monday, June 6, 2016

If I Die I'm Going To Be So Pissed At You!

This is a must see...

Wish I Were Here is gentle and kind and forgiving and funny and sad and heartfelt.  Treat yourself to it.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Made Some Changes

To make a spare shotgun a little more useful...

When Erik was in middle school I awarded him a Remington 870 Express Lightweight Youth Model 20 gauge for turning a "D" in maths into an "A."  I had replaced the truck tire that Remington calls a recoil pad with a Pachmayr Decelerator Sporting Clays and the front bead was removed on the advice of a wing -shooting instructor.  All good.  Erik promptly outgrew it.  I bought him the adult sized 870 Express Lightweight Synthetic 20 gauge.  It comes with Remington's marvelous R3 recoil pad on the full length stock.  The little shotgun went into the safe for decade.  A thread at got me thinking setting it up as a handy little general purpose shotgun, equally suited to the use of bird shot, buck shot, and slugs.

The youth model's short (12 inch) LOP absorbs that extra inch of barrel, making it no longer overall that the 20 inch 12 bores I used to work with, so I'm not going to replace the 21 inch vent rib barrel.  Still it needs sights for my purposes so I've ordered XS Express Night Sight Set Benelli, Remington Vent Rib Steel Matte Standard Dot Tritium Front, White Line Rear.  Found a local smith to install them (at a price; seems dovetails are spendy here in Prescott).  These sights won't be as precise as a ghost ring rear and and a square post front but it might still let a fella pot a quail without too much distraction. I aspire to seeing how far out I can reliably present a hazard to navigation using the Brenneke one ounce slugs (1392 or 1476 fps; my shoulder gets to choose).  Once installed, all I have to do is determine which buckshot load it likes best with which choke tube and select which of the three rear sights in the XS kit lands Brennekes where I want them. 

I attached a Weaver base to the wood fore end with brass screws to serve as a flashlight mount.  I've got a spare Weaver top mount ring in the parts box somewhere.  I've got a spare Surefire for a light.  Presto, I have a weapon mounted light.

Onboard ammo storage means a fella can select different sorts of cartridges so a four-shot TacStar side saddle was ordered.  Andy Langlois made me a four shot leather ammo holder that I screwed to the wood stock. Screws work so well I may never use the lace-up variety again.  Might add another screw or two.

I replaced the plastic factory follower with an aluminum aftermarket unit from Ultimate Arms Gear.  The factory safety was swapped for jumbo button from S&J Hardware; buh bye, J-lock!  Finally, Uncle Mike's set me up with some sling swivel studs.  The rear swivel is mounted at the bottom of the pistol grip to keep the sling  out of the way while reaching for the ammo cuff underhand and it allows a higher carry position when slung in African style.

The original forend design overhangs the receiver, which can cause a variety of problems when a fella is in a hurry.  From time to time I have somehow (I'm clumsy) managed to pinch prodigious quantities of my left hand between the long wood and receiver of similarly set up slide action shotguns when operating them wrong quickly. In the process of raising blood blisters and shedding blood I've come to hate pinch points and strive to extirpate them at every opportunity.  I used a needle nose pliers to unscrew the forend retainer. If I were going to do this more than once I'd definitely buy the purpose built tool.  

Finally the factory hardwood forend and buttstock got a dose of Rustoleum brand truck bed liner.  Simple, sturdy and simple to touch up.

I'm shopping for a wall-mounted security lock so I can keep this handy little gun close at hand yet protected from the untrained and the unauthorized.

Regardless the challenge encountered - day or night, at arms length or at the 50 yard line - four rounds of buck in the magazine, four slugs in the saddle, and four rounds of shot in the cuff ought to suffice.