Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ammo availability

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I haven’t yet heard a declaration that the ammo shortage is over but availability seems to be going up while prices edge ever lower.

If you are looking to add to your inventory, our friends at BULKAMMO.COM have a wide selection of ammo brands in all of the popular pistol and rifle calibers.

Bulk .40 S&W ammo
Bulk 9mm ammo
Bulk .45 ACP ammo

You name it; they seem to have quite a spread of it.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

If you don’t vote, it is my ever-humble opinion that YOU SUCK!

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My goodness, that was rather mean of me to say. Please accept my apologies for polluting this kinder, gentler, blog site; I must be suffering from early onset grumpy-old-man syndrome. You have every right not to vote; legally, nobody can force you to cast a ballot. It’s just that voting is how our system of government works. Now, please notice that I didn’t imply that you sucked if you voted Democrat, Republican, Communist, Green, or Libertarian; heck, choices are also part of our system. I only meant to opine (and there is always a chance that I could be wrong) that YOU SUCK if you don’t vote at all.

You have every right to gripe in public; that is a constitutionally protected right. However, if you bellyache about everything and do not vote, not only is there a chance that YOU SUCK, there also is a possibility that YOU ARE AN INSUFFERABLE ASSHOLE.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

U.S. at historic low in global corruption index

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(Reuters) - The United States has dropped out of the "top 20" in a global league table of least corrupt nations, tarnished by financial scandals and the influence of money in politics...


Heh.  We need a new name for the USA.  Maybe we should be called Shenaniganistan.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Gun blogging will continue someday soon…

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It has been a while since I dusted off anything from inside the gun locker, clicked a couple of photos, and jotted down my thoughts. I am not sure how many firearms that I have not yet blathered about are on the rack; my guess is there are maybe a dozen or so. Most are just good old utility grade guns purchased for whatever mundane purpose or vicarious impulse that motivated me at the time. Completion of my gun blog entries will give me some closure; it will be my cue to, however reluctantly, do some estate planning. I need to formulate a timetable for the gainful disposal of my guns and the recreationally disposal of my ammo before the keeper of the master actuarial table calls my number. If I expire before properly disposing of my humble collection, my heirs will most likely give everything away to newly found “best friends” who offer to rid them of all that nasty ordnance.

Eventually the time will come for most of us to walk away from what we want and downsize to what we need; for me, during any stage of my life, five firearms with a few hundred rounds of ammo for each would have been bountiful. Idyllically, there is a good long life still ahead for me to do plenty of shooting and the time left to sell off the collection at a leisurely pace of a couple of guns every year. Whether my horizon is near or far, I will savor every blessing. The simple guns that I started with will be the ones I keep and cherish until the end.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Sportsman’s Guide

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It has been a quite a while since I made a purchase from The Sportsman’s Guide. If I recall correctly, buying from them was always a positive experience. Their site looks better than ever as a source for bulk ammo and other items.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Via early voting, my 2010 voting obligation is over; I voted today.

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How did I vote? I did my homework and made what I consider informed choices across party lines. In most races, I voted against incumbents, although I did stand by a couple of them. I voted for one Green and one Libertarian because the Republican and Democrat choices in those two races sucked beyond any measure.

I again undervoted (cast a ballot that does not include votes for one or more races; it is legal in Illinois; check with your election judge) because I refuse to add to the vote total for any unopposed candidate.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Saving a few coins whenever possible

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Two years beforehand, part of my preparation for retirement was a decision to buy a brand new “practical car.” I wanted something relatively affordable with a decent gasoline mileage rating; I was tired of seeing my money going to countries who openly despise us. The car had to be something small but spacious enough for two people to endure long road trips. It had to have enough trunk space for our luggage along with my customary contingency-gear. Safety features such as side curtain airbags were essential. Since I was buying something “practical,” which is against the will of my ego, I decided not to skimp on luxuries; the car had to have power sunroof, heated leather seats, etc. I settled on the 2005 Chevy Cobalt, made in Ohio, USA.

This past July, after five years of driving, the odometer rolled over the 70,000-mile mark. Aside from an initial savings of around $10,000 by my not buying a full size SUV, the fuel-savings over five years amount to a respectable $6,000 ($1,200 per year; $100 per month).

I am leaning toward making my next vehicle the all-wheel-drive version of the Chevy Equinox, which achieves the same gas mileage as does my Cobalt. The purchase will have to wait for a while; I will not buy another GM vehicle until Uncle Sam sells its ownership down to zero. Perhaps by then there will be a hybrid version of the Equinox with even better gasoline mileage.

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Today I am just being lazy

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I am beat so I took the day off; the most physical exertion for me today was driving to the store to pickup a replacement power supply for my laptop. Putting in all of that paving brick and base is just kicking my butt; it will be weeks before I am finished. I decided just to spend the day lounging around and blogging about whatever popped into my head. I suppose I could work on the dozen or so half-written blog entries that are in the queue, but I am far too lazy even for that.

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Would I consider buying an electric car?

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Yes, I’ll be in the market for an electric car as soon as they get

1) components (including batteries) with warranties of no less than five years
2) a full charge driving range of 400 miles
3) a crossover SUV design no smaller than the Chevy Equinox
4) an MSRP comparable to that of an equal size gasoline powered vehicle
5) recharge stations in convenient travel locations
6) recharge time of less than 5-minutes

It is interesting to see how this all is evolving. For right now, gasoline-electric hybrids are the best bet. I am curious to see if the infrastructure needed along our interstate highways (primarily the recharge stations) will fall into place for the all-electric-cars. Heck, I am old enough to remember a time when every roadside mom and pop store had a gasoline pump at the curbside. As for the current crop of short-range electric commuter cars, I am wondering whether some of our more enterprising corporations (such as Wal-Mart) will start offering free (or cheap) “recharge while you shop.”

I am not a “greenie” trying to save the world from real or imagined climate catastrophe; I simply do not like our buying oil from people who hate our guts. The sooner we can say goodbye to foreign oil, the better off we will be.

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Tesla Roadster sighting

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I saw my first Tesla Roadster yesterday. It was in Vernon Hills, Illinois, southbound on Milwaukee Avenue heading toward Lincolnshire. I was tailgating for a while, trying to get a cell phone photo of the backside of the car and the license plate (the photos were not clear). The owner is making a statement while driving that cool looking electric powered car; his Illinois license plate is “NO OIL.”

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Helping out a neighbor

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One of my next-door neighbor ladies accidentally set herself on fire a couple of weeks ago. It happened around midnight the eve of our departure for Florida and I slept through the noise and lights from the police, fire trucks, and the ambulance; I didn’t learn of the incident until yesterday. Initially the ambulance took her to the emergency room of a local hospital where her condition was judged as beyond their scope of services. Flight For Life was called in to helicopter her to the Loyola Medical Center Burn Unit. She is in very critical condition. Over the past couple of weeks, she has undergone radical treatments including a series of skin grafts; they finally were able to wean her from the breathing tube today.

The family’s only source of income is the husband’s pension. Over the years, I have helped them out with a few bucks and favors such as snow removal, helping to change the starter on their pickup truck, and mowing their lawn when the husband was sick. When the husband finished relating the story of their latest tragedy, I handed him $50 for gas money to help him make his daily drives from here to Maywood and told him I would take care of his lawn for the rest of this season. He won’t receive another pension check until November 1st; I’ll be slipping him another $50 next week.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Frost warning fall 2010; goodbye flowers

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It is the dark side of morning and I just came in from outside; I had to take one last look at the impatiens and other annuals. They have given me great pleasure throughout the spring, summer, and fall but likely will all be dead by sunrise; I am not going to cover them. It is time to let nature have its way so I can begin preparing the beds for next season. I did take one large pot of petunias and one flowerbox of marigolds into the garage in an attempt to salvage some color for the time between now and when the nightly freezes begin. Next year I will use more containers for planting annuals to thwart the sporadic frost events of spring and fall.

This afternoon while I was laboring on setting more bricks for the front yard garden-apron/walkway (I will remember this year as “the year of 1,000 bricks”) I saw a mouse scurry into the garage. I chased it around for a while but failed to extricate the rodent; I will be picking up some mouse sticky-pads and poison to remedy the situation.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Is the economy getting better, worse, or stagnating?

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The following is a quick view of the USA as seen from our Chevrolet.

We just completed another road-trip vacation to Florida and back; we usually do this once or twice a year, the times based on the whims of my wife; she has a knack for craving Florida sunshine during hurricane season.

We especially like traveling during the times of major economic malaise because there is less car and truck traffic plus the hotels are cheaper and less crowded. Anecdotally, I’d say the economy is doing better now than it was a year ago as evidenced by the number of freight-hauling trucks that made our driving downright contentious. The hotel rates are still relatively cheap but we found that reservations filled up early in the day. Most of the travelers we saw in the hotels were business travelers. As far as off-season vacation travelers, we noticed that often the highways had more trucks than cars on them and our favorite sleepy little Florida town was sleepier than normal.

My guess is that the economic recovery is progressing, albeit SLOWLY. Jobs are still scarce; we noticed that many of the hotel staff members and restaurant employees (jobs that usually have a high turnover rate) were the same folks we met on our last trip.

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