Monthly Archives: February 2010
Driving home tonight from a long day and a long weekend of training. Before I left another student that left about 20 minutes prior phoned back to say there was some big accident at the intersection of US 290 and TX-21. There’s no other way to get home than go through there so I prepared myself for a delay.
When I came upon that intersection it was shut down completely with police directing me onto US 290 West to go back to Austin. Within moments of getting onto 290 I see more lights in the distance. Eventually all traffic comes to a complete stand-still. And we sit. I don’t know the full story, but it appears there were 2 vehicular incidents (don’t know about the first, but this second was certainly a collision). They were significant incidents.
While sitting I saw one ambulance leave. A little while later, that same one returned. Another ambulance left. That’s not a good sign.
Finally after about an hour traffic started moving. Cars crawled through the area of the collision.
It was horrible.
It was violent.
You could see the skid marks all over the road. The ground is soft so you could see all the earth torn up as the truck and the other car skidded off the highway. The truck was smashed up pretty good. The other car (maybe a Honda Pilot?) was on its side, destroyed. Based upon what I saw, the only way my brain could process what happened was that it was an extremely violent event. It was just terrible.
The perspective I kept? Sure, this inconveniences me, but there are other lives truly affected tonight. I mean… maybe I got home an hour late, but at least I got to go home.
The fragility of life.
And this after spending two days in a firearms training course, which ended with a good presentation and discussion about the sober realities of gunfights. But before you take this as something bad or depressing, really it’s just a matter of perspective. At least for me, the one that experienced all of this and is making some sort of feeble attempt to convey it all to whomever reads this.
I don’t carry a gun because I want to hurt or harm people. I carry a gun because I wish to preserve life: mine, my loved ones. You see how fragile, how frail we are. How finite life is. How in an instant it can be taken from us or at least changed drastically and forever. In the end, how do you choose to live your life? If you wish to live a long and healthy one… plan and act accordingly.
It doesn’t stop things from happening, but being reminded of your mortality now and again is healthy — it helps you keep life in perspective. As Jason Becker said:
We live thinking we will never die. We die thinking we have never lived. Cut it out.
This doesn’t mean I live in fear of dying. While I don’t look forward to the event, I know that death is the only true guarantee in life; it’s only a question of when and how. Rather, it’s about ensuring you live a good and full life. Are you going to look back on your life and wish you spent more time at the office or more time with your kids? Why do you eat healthful food? because you want to be around to spend more time with your kids. Why do you exercise? so you can be around to spend more time with your kids. So, same with the gun, that is someone opted to try to take me away from them or them away from me, I will do all in my power to ensure my kids and I can continue to spend more time together.
I strive to live a full and healthy life. One just has to keep everything in perspective. This weekend provided a reminder and reinforcement of that. Some of that came in an unexpected way.
An anonymous customer complaint to the county brought health inspectors to the store, who determined its tradition of more than 15 years of offering coffee and doughnuts to customers violated food-handling regulations.
“We’ve been doing this since we bought the place 15 years ago and the previous owner was doing it, too,” said Randy Collins, 42, co-owner with his parents of B & B. “We simply weren’t aware we were causing a problem.”
Inspectors told Collins that unless he was willing to install stainless-steel sinks with hot and cold water and have a prep kitchen to handle the food, he was violating the law.
Wow. Thank God for those inspectors. I mean, sure for well over 15 years nothing has happened, but something might! I mean, they need a prep area to open that box of donuts. It’s the only safe way!
Years ago Wife wanted to start her own business. Being that I work in Geek Land, she wanted to make meals for geeks. Many of the geeks I worked with at the time were single and work was their life. Many couldn’t cook and lived off eating out or pre-made meals (e.g. TV dinner type stuff). Wife’s cooking is excellent, so her idea was to make batches of meals, put them into single-serving containers and freeze them. Make weekly deliveries to the geeks of food… then they just have to heat and eat and get delicious and nutritious “as close to home-cooked as they’ll get” meals. Great idea, right?
Wife looked into what it would take to make that happen. Once she saw all of the regulations required (e.g. we’d need 2 mop sinks… two) she gave up on the idea. She wanted to start small. She wanted to do this out of our home. She didn’t want to secure massive loans and property at the onset. She didn’t want to put the family well-being at too much risk in case it failed, but if it took off it would be able to build on its own. But it was just too much. According to the reams of codes and regulations, our home isn’t fit for making food for others… and neither is yours. You’d even be surprised to find out if you entertain dinner guests often enough that you’re in violation of this same code.
Yes. Let’s do all we can to encourage and enable entrepreneurship.
Colorado State University’s Board of Governors voted for a weapons ban on campus.
In response, Larimer County Sheriff James Alderden said he would undermine the ban in the interest of student safety. Read more here.
“I have told the CSU police chief I will not support this in any way,” Sheriff Alderden told The Gazette. “If anyone with one of my permits gets arrested for concealed carry at CSU, I will refuse to book that person into my jail. Furthermore, I will show up at court and testify on that person’s behalf, and I will do whatever I can to discourage a conviction. I will not be a party to this very poor decision.”
It’s simple. This Sheriff has set aside emotions and looked at the hard facts:
Alderden said ban advocates have been unable to cite a single study or statistic to show that students will be safer as a result of a weapons ban. He’s convinced they will be much less safe as a result of the ban, which will leave most students defenseless. The ban establishes the campuses as “soft targets,” meaning armed criminals will have a reasonable expectation their intended victims aren’t armed.
“There are volumes of statistical and anecdotal data that show populations are safer when law-abiding citizens are permitted to carry concealed weapons,” Alderden said.
Six years after Alderden began issuing permits, he noticed the homicide rate in his jurisdiction had dropped.
Amazing that. But like I said, the ban is about emotion. Don’t believe me?
“I made the whole case, based in provable facts. The teacher said, and I quote, ‘I don’t care about the facts.’ She only cared about her emotional response,” Alderden said.
Amazing. Isn’t it interesting how in so many other areas of life people want facts, people want proof, people want evidence, but here they don’t want facts. How… odd.
Apparently Barnes Bullets is developing a 95 grain TSX bullet for the 6.8 SPC. Details can be found at the TacticalHuntingReview Forums.
In response to my home being invaded by a duck, Rog pointed me to an article about The Urban Hunt. It’s about a man and his adventure in urban hunting: rabbit, pigeon, squirrel, duck, and so on.
It’s a good read. Well-written prose.
Hunting is ethically cleaner than buying meat at a market, in part because it is more difficult. Unlike urban progressives who shop in high-end organic grocery stores, hunters are not casual carnivores. Though often accused of being bloodthirsty, hunters simply know what blood is—what it looks like, how it smells. The division of labor is one of the good things about living in cities: Not everyone has to hunt his own food, make his own clothes, and perform his own open-heart surgery. But the luxury of urbanism lets us forget that eating is always about blood, about one thing suffering and dying so another thing can live. With every bite—whether ortolan, salmon, or chicken burrito—we swallow a mouthful of death.
Youngest child appears to have caught something… poor little guy is running at both ends.
So I went to see if Imodium was OK for kids to take (don’t have any at home, Wife at the grocery store calling me to ask if we needed anything else).
And lo, what do I find?
The wonders of the modern era.
I was Googling around for something related to Sesame Street and stumbled across “The Sesame Street Style Guide“.
The following pages are excerpted from the Sesame Street Style Guide published 2001. They cover Sesame Street character art usage and advertising guidelines and are provided for your reference in preparing print materials in conjunction with the Sesame Street Presents: The Body exhibition.
It contains a lot of general guidelines about how the characters are to be used, and I love the sheer amount of Pantone® references.
So the Texas primary is this coming Tuesday, and today is the last day for early voting.
Wife and I have been having a tough time deciding who to vote for. They’re all a bunch of professional politicians. They all know how to say something that ultimately says nothing. They all know the proper buzzwords to use today are “Constitution” and “States rights” and other such things to help them get elected, then be discarded once they have what they want.
In short, they all suck. It’s just a question of who sucks least.
Furthermore, I’ve found myself this election cycle being more concerned about who to get out of office than voting for who I truly think is best. I hate that. You should vote for who you truly believe is best. But in many respects there’s a bigger political game being played right now and I find myself sometimes wondering who will do a better job at getting someone out of office or keeping someone else from getting into office. *sigh* I hate shit like this. That’s not the ideal way for things to be, but it seems the reality for how things are.