Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Thought...

It's kind of sad that the same Leftists that have been screaming nonsensically about the NRA in response to the murders at the school in Connecticut are the most rabid proponents of abortion.

The thought that popped into my head today for no apparent reason: 

"Planned Parenthood regularly kills more children daily than the National Rifle Association has during its entire existence!"

I don't know where the thought came from, but I thought it was worth sharing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Math

I'm seeing estimates of $2K increases in tax bills for $50-$75K households.

By my math that works out to $167 per month, or $40 per week.

For many folks, that works out to a tank of gas per week.

Thanks to paycheck withholding, most folks aren't even going to notice the increase until April 15, 2014 when they do their 2013 taxes.

Meanwhile, to the TV talking heads, it's the end of world as they know it.


Another year older, and deeper in debt.

St. Peter, don't you call me 'cos I can't go!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Trying To Translate Waking Thoughts Into An Evening Post

I've been working days while recuperating from injuries sustained when an inattentive driver hit my motorcycle back in October.

This morning I woke up with several topics to post about, but not enough time to write.

Now, in lieu of sleeping so I can get up and go to work in the morning, I'm trying to reconstruct those thoughts.

One of the topics that came to mind was the concept "If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it!" and its application today, where we punish success by taxing income, and subsidize unemployment by paying unemployment benefits for nearly 2 years.

The government declared a 'War On Poverty' the year I was born.  40+ years later we seem to have more people living in poverty than we did then!  Given the success of all of the 'wars on a noun' that have been declared, I'm tempted to demand a 'war on Federalism', but I'm pretty sure the government would screw it up royally and we'd actually end up with LESS Federalism...

Another topic has to do with the pending "fiscal cliff" and the rhetoric regarding tax plans.

There are some very important points that are being overlooked or disguised that people need to keep in  mind.

First, no one's tax rates are being cut.  The cuts were made in 2003, setting new tax rates.  Any increases to tax rates on January 1 are not due to temporary rates expiring - they are due to new rates being set.

Second, increasing taxes on people with incomes in excess of a certain dollar amount will not result in more revenue - it will only result in fewer people with incomes in excess of a certain dollar amount.  Those with the money to do so will use the tax code to their own advantage and will find ways to shelter enough income to get below the magic line.  If the increases are severe enough, some people will leave the country.

Third, any spending cuts that occur will not be cuts in actual spending, but rather will be reductions in planned spending increases....instead of spending 100% more in the next year they'll only spend 90% more, so that's a spending cut!

Last, but certainly no least, the country does not have a revenue problem - we have a SPENDING problem.

I've at least committed the thoughts to the ' I can flesh them out as time permits.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Things Not To Say To The Wife, Part 1

Apparently my wife doesn't find it amusing when I make the comment "It isn't working" during a discussion about the "Happy Light" (light therapy lamp) she has on her desk at work.

You know that internal filter that's supposed to keep you from voicing the thought before you've fully processed the potential repercussions?  My internal filter apparently stepped out for a pint at the pub down the road.

Reminding her that marrying me was proof she has a sense of humor didn't help.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tonight's Post Brought To You By The Letters "I" and "D"

Good news and bad news:

Good news:

My cast was removed Tuesday (11/27).  The x-rays looked good.  I was able to take a REAL shower, with hot running water and everything.  I was able to drive to work Wednesday and Thursday (I've been on light duty since late October).

Bad news:

The dressing covering the road rash shifted, allowing the scabs to work against the sock inside the cast, leaving me with a draining wound in a warm, dark, moist environment.  I get to take a couple of broad-spectrum antibiotics for the next couple of weeks.

Worse news:

I get to experience an "Irrigation and Debridement".  Oh, joy...

Yes, I know...I'm fortunate - I'm alive, I have all my limbs mostly intact, etc.

Doesn't mean this doesn't suck.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Danger, Will Robinson!

Some days I really think my house needs "Estrogen Minefield" warning signs!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

House Bound

After almost two weeks in a splint, I went to the ortho clinic expecting to be released to return to work and a normal life.

"Best laid plans..." and all that.

Now I'm in a full leg cast from my ass to my ankle...for at least 4 weeks...for a broken knee cap.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In Real Life

Having found out that Og the Neanderpundit is in town for work, he agreed to forego another evening of people watching out his hotel window and to join me for a meal.  

We enjoyed pork tenderloin sandwiches at Uncle Buck's Cafe at Bass Pro Shops along with a nice chat on many and far-ranging topics.  Truly a brother from another mother, although from a bent and twisted branch of the family tree...

It's been nearly a week since my motorcycle misadventure began.  As I suspected, the insurance company is totaling out the bike.  There's frame damage, and the time and cost to repair will exceed the value of the motorcycle.  

Meanwhile, I continue to recover at home.  Daytime TV has not improved, and I have several more days to endure before my next visit to the doctor's office, at which time I find out how my knee is doing.  I don't do sitting at home very well.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Lethal Left Hand Turn And You

Well, I can cross "Survive a collision with a car turning left" off my motorcycle bucket list.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 at approximately 12:30 AM, I accomplished this feat.

My motorcycle, however, did not.  More on that in a bit.

I am a presenter for a program called "Share The Road With Motorcycles"*.  Normally we call it "Share The Road" or "STR".  Regardless of what it's called, it's a presentation designed to give non-riders, especially new drivers, an introduction to motorcycles and motorcycling, with the goal of raising their awareness of a segment of the traffic they will be encountering on the public roads.

In the STR presentation we discuss something called The Lethal Left Hand Turn.  Pretty simple concept, actually.  Analysis of motorcycle crash data shows that right-of-way violations account for somewhere between half and two-thirds of the 'motorcycle vs. automobile' collisions.  The graph that accompanies the stat kind looks like a peace symbol, indicating, on a clock face, the direction from which the threats come.  Generally, 12:00 to 5:00 is threats from the right, i.e. cars pulling out of driveways or backing out of parking spaces, that sort of thing.  5:00 to 7:00 is threats from behind - following too close, 'running up' on bikes stopped for traffic control devices, etc.  7:00 to 12:00 is the threats coming at the rider from the left.  This is the segment that produces more motorcyclist fatalities than the other segments combined.

So, back to Thursday morning....

I used some personal business time Wednesday night so I could take my son to a school activity Thursday morning.  After stopping at Walgreen's, I was on Broadway headed west, minding my own business when all of a sudden a car whipped a left hand turn aimed toward the driveway of a fast food restaurant.  Unfortunately I was between the car and the driveway.  I was able to brake slightly, based on the skid marks, but there was no time for evasive action.  The car hit my bike at the front wheel and left engine guard.  I came off the bike, flew approximately 20 feet downrange and landed on my right side.

I don't think I lost conciousness, but I did get the wind knocked out of me for a few moments.  A number of people showed up and started asking me if I was all right.  I started a quick self-assessment to determine the extent of my injuries.  I could wiggle my toes and my hands worked, but I had some pain in my right knee and hip, so I decided to stay put.  I could hear sirens so I knew medics were enroute.  Medics and Fire arrived on scene and the questions started again.  The medic treating me determined that it was unlikely that I had a spinal injury.  They helped me to my feet.  Standing was fine but taking a step was painful, both in the right hip and knee.

I couldn't see the front of my bike from where I stood, but the impression I got from the cops and medics was that it wasn't pretty.  The Tour-Pak had opened up and spilled its contents.  I asked for my laptop, and the cops had already secured my pistols.  I didn't think anyone from my club could get there in time to get the bike, so I asked for the local tow company to pick up and secure the bike.  The cops promised to pick up and secure the loose items from the Tour-Pak.

Loading into the ambulance and the trip to Jennie Ed were uneventful.  I was able to call Maria and let her know what had happened.

The ER was much like pictured on TV shows - transfer from the ambulance cot to the exam gurney, changing out of street clothes into an exam gown - why don't nurses understand suspenders? - vitals, medical history, etc.

The doctor came in, checked me out and ordered x-rays.  The x-ray techs were there in a few minutes and took me for x-rays.  They denied it, but I'm pretty sure they both moonlight as physical therapy techs - they have that sadistic streak that says pain is a necessary part of the job.  I'm leg, knee and hips don't bend those directions!

Back to the exam room to wait for the radiologist to read the x-rays and report to the doc.  The doc wanted me to try a few steps to see if the pain had improved.  It took help to get up from the gurney, but once up, I took a few steps, gingerly.  The hip was able to tolerate as much weight as the pain in the knee would allow.  Unfortunately the effort also triggered a bout of nausea...Maria said I turned green.  This time when the nurse asked if I wanted something for pain I said "Yes, please!".

Eventually the doctor decided I wan't likely to shuffle off this mortal coil any time soon and issued release orders.  In the mean time, Maria went home and exchanged her Dodge Neon for my Dodge Caravan, figuring I could fit in the van easier than in the Neon.  Hell, I can't fit comfortably in the Neon  when I'm NOT in pain and in a leg brace!

So, now I'm home, with a profile saying that I can't return to work until cleared by my doctor, instructions for follow up at the Orthopedic clinic and a prescription for pain pills.

The Ortho followup was uneventful, with the exception of being fitted with a semi-permanent splint in place of the velcro and neoprene joke and getting a prescription for an antibiotic.

Friday morning Maria drove me to the tow yard where my bike is being stored so I could retrieve the remaining personal property - tools, coats, etc., get a good look at the whole bike and take some photos.
It was sad to see my loyal steed mortally wounded.

Calls have been made to insurance agents, family and friends.  The healing process is beginning, with the hope of returning to work soon, not because I don't want to draw short term disability at 70% of normal wages, but because I'm already getting bored!

If you ride, please ride safe...if you drive, please watch for motorcycles!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Day At The Range

Had a fun morning turning money into smoke and noise, made even better by the fact it was someone else's gun and ammo and by outshooting him in the match!

Topped off the day with some recoil therapy with my own Civilian Marksmanship Program M-1 Garand, a rifle a dozen years older than me, firing mil-surp ammo almost as old as me.

Hopefully with practice I'll improve my shooting skills to be able to use the rifle to its full potential.

And yes, I did hear the PING of freedom!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Travels with Harley

(with apologies to John Steinbeck)

I rode to Durham NC for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation's 2012 Meeting Of The Minds.

2613 miles on a 1990 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic.

My daily commute is 20 miles, so this was the equivalent of 130 days of commuting, most of it at 65 MPH or more.

Some thoughts from the road:

My seat is approximately 47 years old.  The bike's seat is approximately 22 years old.  Before the next long trip one of them is going to be changed.  I'm betting on the bike seat.

I don't mind when my Harley marks its territory, but when it does it on my jeans it becomes a problem. The rocker box gaskets I planned to do this winter during chrome polishing season suddenly moved up in priority.

As I was riding down I-64 in eastern Kentucky, I wondered why the on-ramps were always on curves. Later it occurred to me that it was because there weren't enough straight sections of I-64 to accommodate the on-ramps!

Speed limit signs in the Durham NC area are apparently suggestions, or perhaps recommended minimums.

Indiana has found a way to keep roads from buckling in summer heat: generous expansion joints.  Unfortunately, the rest of the year, when the roads contract, there are corresponding gaps.  At 70 MPH on a motorcycle, it feels like riding over a 2x4 every 15 feet or so.

I knew I was back in Iowa when I started seeing evidence of road-killed deer and started meeting wind generator blades and tower sections on trucks heading east on I-80.

Speaking of wind generators, I have deduced the reason for locating them along I-80.  There's never any shortage of energy to drive them!

Speaking further of wind generators, maybe it's me but it seems a waste to have wind generator parts meeting each other on the Interstate.  Seriously...instead of trucking a blade from west to east at the same time a blade is being trucked from east to west, why not arrange to use the parts in the west on the project in the west and vice-versa?

It was a great trip, and a great conference, and I can't wait to do it again!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mud Wrestling With A Pig

I was all set to comment on a posting from a Facebook friend. Had a nice long rebuttal to some questionable statements on the post, just about ready to hit "Enter" and commit it to the Internet forever and decided to delete the whole thing.

A couple of famous quotes crossed my mind. 

One is attributed to Mark Twain:

"Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."

The other is attributed to George Carlin:

"Never argue with an idiot; they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

It's not likely that anything I post is going to change this person's mind, and I have no desire to get into an electronic pissing match over the topic.

Suffice it to say if he's right, life will go on merrily and I will gladly say I was wrong.

Unfortunately, if I'm right, we're screwed, and I seriously doubt he will even realize, let alone admit, he was wrong.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why Is This An Issue?

Regardless of the viewpoints of those offering opinions in the abortion "debate" (myself included), it can be said with relative certainty* that the mothers of all involved, at some point, chose to carry their pregnancies to term.  As far as I can tell, commentors on all sides came from (perhaps briefly) pro-life mothers.

That this issue remains so important in national level politics amazes me.  After all these years, that conservatives choose this issue as a keystone for their campaigns shows that Einstein's definition of insanity (continuing to do the same things and expecting different outcomes) is still valid.  That 'conservatives' can demand that government be less intrusive in peoples' lives at the same time demanding that the State have dominion over reproduction continues to vex me.

Romney, Ryan, Akin, et al: Stop letting the left use this as a 'gotcha!' issue!  Express a PERSONAL opinion if you must, but stop promising to use the power of the office to which you aspire to force everyone to comply with your opinion.

Get out of every woman's womb and focus on those issues with which the office is charged by the US Constitution!

* I'm pretty sure most pro-abortion supporters survived childbirth, though I wonder about a few, especially those who find themselves being interviewed for broadcast and/or publication.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Can't We Do Better Than This?

Larry Pratt, of Gun Owners of America, was interviewed in the first hour of The Jim Bohannon Show last night.

If he's the public persona of GOA it's no wonder the organization doesn't get a lot of traction in the 2nd Amendment rights universe.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Recoil Therapy, Garand Style!

I had an opportunity to shoot in my local rifle and pistol club's John C. Garand match this morning.

I managed to not embarrass myself against more experienced shooters and I managed to put 35 rounds thru an M1 Garand with my thumb intact!

Guess it's time to get serious about ordering a CMP Garand.

Spending a couple of hours handling and shooting an M1 Garand has increased my level of respect for the men who carried these rifles in World War II and Korea. The Garand is NOT a lightweight rifle. The rifle and a battle load of ammunition certainly added to a soldier's burden!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Apparently one of the few things my immediate family shares, besides our last name, is the bugs they bring home from work and school.

Thank you EVER so much, family...