Blogging to you from the northeastern badlands of Lake County, Illinois USA, WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! ALL FORMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ARE ADDICTIVE; EXCESSIVE USE MAY LEAD TO MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, REDUCED JOB PRODUCTIVITY, LACK OF SLEEP, SOCIAL ALIENATION, BIRTH DEFECTS, BLINDNESS, SEXUAL IMPOTENCY, AND / OR DEVIANT FUNAMBULISM. NOTICE: NO GUNS OR AMMUNITION ARE FOR SALE VIA THIS BLOG. (No, I will not trade my Colt Python for some lubricious adventures with your hot looking wife and a future first-round draft pick.) CAVEAT: This blog is not suitable for viewing while at work, while inside a public library, while inside any public or private school, or while inside any public or private restroom. Do not view this blog while driving a motor vehicle or while piloting an aircraft. Viewing this blog may be illegal inside the EU, Chicago, and other parts of the Third World. THIS BLOG CONTAINS (albeit often very childish) ADULT-CONTENT. DISCLAIMER: This blog is a hobby, it is not a livelihood. Even though much of what I blog about relates to firearms collecting and recreational shooting, I am not an expert (by any measure) on any facet of guns, shooting, hunting, or personal defense. Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats or post hunt bourbon-fueled barroom-bluster; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be rugged-country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. All products, places, and miscellany that I review for this blog are purchased / rented / leased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, demon alcohol, drugs, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Papal Blessings, Presidential Pardons, or sexual favors for doing any review or blog post. TRACKING COOKIES: Google et al stick tracking cookies on everybody. If you are online, you are being spied on via one method or another, for one reason or another; 'nuff said. You may be able to minimize your online DNA residue by using Tor and Duck Duck Go. Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all! Ante omnia armari. To each of you, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it!
Please consider supporting RECURRING UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS of ALL FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL POLITICIANS (including but not limited to school records, acquaintances, employment history, fingerprints, DNA, Social Media, financial, drug, and psychiatric screenings). Please consider supporting TERM LIMITS; political power corrupts.

'We the Politicians of the United States, in Order to avoid a more perfect Union, manipulate Justice, destroy domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common offense, promote general Warfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Progeny, do blaspheme and eviscerate this Constitution of the United States of America." ("Zack," circa 1966 -1970)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Entry for January 26, 2008

Some quiet afternoon or evening, sit on a comfortable chair and stare into the flames dancing inside the fireplace. If you choose to, pour yourself a drink. Then, please ponder the following.

What is it that gives you that sense of self? What is it that makes you unique to yourself? What is it that makes you, YOU? Is there a part of you that is separate from all of your senses? Why does each person from a pair of identical twins have a unique personality? Each has a unique sense of self. Each sees the world from the window of his or her own eyes.

Billions of people in the world exist outside of you. You exist inside of you. When you drive a car, you look outside at the other cars on the highway. When you are walking down the sidewalk, you look outside of your body at the other people walking by. You can see your hand, but you need a mirror to see your face.

How is it that you are inside of that body of yours? What freaky trick of nature or God plopped you in there instead of somewhere else? Go blind; you are still in that body of yours. Go deaf, same thing, you are still in there. Suffer damage to certain portions of the brain and you will not remember yesterday, but you still exist in that hunk of meat called the human body. When your brain dies and your body still functions are you here or are you gone? Today most seem to agree that YOU are gone when your brain is gone. Do you exist in that living brain? Are you a “virtual self” in that strange looking loaf between your ears? Again, how did identical twins each wind up with a unique “self?”

How did you wind up in there? Is there a reason why you are there and not inside some other body? Why here? Why now? Is there a spiritual side of you that is not reliant on the body? If so, which of your actions is spiritual? Are GOOD and EVIL spiritual functions or strictly brain chemistry gone good or bad? Is sex biological and love spiritual? Does your soul want to get laid?

Eventually that hunk of meat and bone you ride around in will die. Will you die with it? Cultures throughout the history of humans have tried to answer that. Take your pick of the many answers. Some say there is a part of you that goes on forever. Some say you are like a light bulb, once you blow the filament you are finished.

I am not very concerned about going somewhere after I drop dead. More so, as many others do, I question what the hell I am doing here in the first place. Nothing in my life has ever caused me to wish I could do it all over again. If I had to, a rerun would be just fine with me. If there were such a thing as reincarnation into some new person or animal, I would just as soon skip that feature unless I can come back as a crab louse.

Hunter S. Thompson may have had it right. "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a Ride!'

One last question, if you could see your soul, would you like what you saw?

Wishing you a long and fulfilling life, and whatever eternity you may dream of,

James A. Zachary Jr.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Entry for January 22, 2008

My seventy year old Uncle Junior (yep, Junior, AKA J.R., full name Otha Logan Zachary) has a brain tumor. He had a car accident a week or so ago and suffered some moderate injuries. The scan of his head revealed the brain tumor. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday. I’ll be hanging some prayers in the air for Uncle Junior.

When I was a kid, I loved when we visited Junior and his wife Sandy. They parted years ago, and Junior’s children have not had easy lives due to a number of issues. Two of his sons have died. I was blessed with many uncles, and J.R. was always one of my favorites. Good memories.

NOTE: I originally had this posted as "Otha Allen Zachary Jr.", since I believed Uncle "Junior" was named after his father, "Otha Allen Zachary". It turns out Uncle Jr's name is "Otha Logan Zachary"; his first name is after his father and his middle name is after his paternal grandfather, "John Logan Zachary". There may or may not be a "Junior" on his birth certificate. Many knew him as "Junior Zachary".

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Entry for January 20, 2008

Watermains break for a variety of reasons, and sometimes watermains break for no apparent reason at all. When the taps go dry and the toilets do not flush, customers rarely care why a watermain broke, they just want it fixed, and they want it fixed fast.

Public utility workers often brave danger and extreme discomfort in order to keep potable water flowing to every household. They take their jobs seriously, not only to provide for our comfort and convenience, but also because Fire Departments are not very effective fighting fires when there is no water. Utility repair crews respond at all hours of any day, including weekends and holidays. If a watermain broke on Christmas Eve, crewmembers would leave their families to go dig deep underground in order to make the needed repairs. It is muddy, backbreaking, physical work. Even well trained crews with good equipment risk injury and death from a number of hazards including burial during a cave-in of the trench.

While the highly paid department heads and division managers of the utility companies sleep, these crews are on standby. During after-hour emergencies these crews take care of business, and the bosses rarely know about it until they read the summary reports over their morning coffee.

The next time the air temperature is far below zero and you see a crew staging equipment to repair a watermain, give them a good thought and a friendly wave.


This Blog's most viewed posts during the past week

This Blog's most viewed posts during the past month

This Blog's most viewed posts during the past year

This Blog's Most Popular Posts of All Time