Tuesday, June 14, 2016

When do you know it's time?

Sometimes I wonder whether I'll really know when it's time to bring Zack for that final vet trip.  He's still a happy go lucky dog most of the time and is honestly in pretty good shape for a 13 1/2 year old chocolate lab.

There are times though, where he's laying down and looking up at me with this kind of sad, resigned look on his face that says "I'm tired and I hurt" and he lets out a big sigh.

He was a very very sick dog from mid to late February through early April.  There was misdiagnosis, miscommunication between the vet, myself and my mother.  There was blood, there was vomit, there was diarrhea in the backseat of my car in the middle of the night. I've also been recovering from a broken left leg that happened in early November and trying to help my Poppop, who has dementia, as much as I can. Zack is a tough old pup though and he made it through a 3 day stay in the vet ER.

Then, less than a week after the ER, someone has the balls to say to me "He's 13 y'know, you'd better get used to the idea that you're going to have to put him down soon." I am pretty easy going, but damn that shit made me mad.  I felt like saying, yeah, and if you were the one taking care of him you'd have screamed at him when he had accidents and left him on his dog bed to die. Yeah asshole, as if I wasn't already acutely aware of this reality, having taken care of a sick dog for over a month, setting my alarm for every hour or so at night for weeks to check on him, driving home everyday on lunch breaks, cooking him meals.  When I come home to a weak, frail dog who doesn't get up to greet me, refuses water and chicken out of my hand, and who finally manages to drink an entire bowl of water only to throw it up, tinged red with blood, I am more than aware of the inevitability of the death of my pet.

So now that he has finally recovered and put weight back on I'm trying to make his last bit of time, whether it be another 6 months or another 2+ years as fun, happy and carefree as possible.  I know he has a lot of hind end weakness now, osteoarthritis, especially in his right rear leg (the area that took the brunt of the impact when he got hit by a car as a pup) degenerative disk disease in his back and possibly either spinal stenosis or degenerative myelopathy. (I'm guessing the former)

The vet and vet tech did tell me the day I brought him home that he was a sweetie and a happy, alert dog who didn't appear to be in constant pain / distress.  I have certain markers in my head that will tell me "It's time"  I just hope I stay true to that and make the right call, not for myself, my mother or sisters, but for Zack.

The old guy and I have been having a blast, going to the beach as much as possible of late.  The house has open, slick wooden stairs and he was having a great deal of difficulty, looking up at me and crying at the bottom of the stairs, even taking a few tumbles and then being scared and cautious.  But a few weeks of practice seem to have helped a great deal. He gets daily glucosamine / chondroitin capsules now, which like a goof he thinks are delicious treats.  He'll actually chew them, and then beg like I just gave him cheese or bacon.

People seem to love this dog, and every person who sees him is surprised he's going on 14 years old.  I've been pleasantly surprised at how many times kids will actually ask their parent if it's ok for them to pet my dog and also ask me if it's ok beforehand.




Two and a half months later.  He's still got some life in him yet, and so I won't have to make that decision.  If this ends up being his last summer at the beach, he sure is enjoying it :)



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Adios Uberposts

Kevin over at The Smallest Minority was one of those bloggers who not only got me interested in starting blogging, but whose blog was instrumental in the formation of my own political philosophy way back when I was a teenager.  That is, a philosophy rooted in reason, individual liberty, and objective fact.

I look around now and I see people who are ignorant, who do not even know what they do not know, and have no desire to learn.  The body politic, when told "the direction of the country is unsustainable!" refuse to recognize it and worse, do not care.

Bread and circuses indeed.  I used to truly believe the ideals of our founders were sustainable in the long run in America.  While I still believe I live n the greatest country on earth, and that merely being born here is a blessing the world over, I'm not sure the Individual Liberty, rights, and economic liberties our Founders fought for are salvagable in the long term.

I wrote, back in the summer of 2008...in what was perhaps my personal favorite post

"A tyranny may one day come to be but if we lose the initial, more important fight then our once free nation will fade into obscurity. If that spirit, courage, that flame of liberty no longer exists among a majority of our countrymen, then those who do "hoist the black flag and start splitting throats"will fight alone. They won't have an enthusiastic, liberty-minded citizenry leading the charge with them and their efforts will be futile. Our goal needs to be keeping that flame lit."

My roommate took serious issue with my characterization of government as a "necessary evil" the other day.  Living with a leftist has taught me one thing, it is that we talk past each other on issues of rights, liberty, and economic freedom because for him, the foundation isn't there.  The concept of government as a "necessary evil" was controversial to him.  That one moment encompassed how the pro-socialist camp and the pro-liberty camp politically speak a different language.  It embodies our national problem on a micro scale.  And it highlights another problem.  Divisiveness.  I could not disagree with him enough politically, but he's still a good man, and I still consider him a friend.

So yes, while I love this country and all it stands for, I'm done too.  I'm still pro-gun, pro-liberty and proud of it, and that will never change.

Judge Learned Hand wrote,

"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it."

It will never die in me, and sure, I may rarely post here, but right now I'm living my life, enjoying it, trying to learn something new everyday and be a better man that I was the day before.  Then, when I fail at that, because we all fail sometimes, try to look inward so that I may better myself on this journey we call life.  Been through some tough, and at times Crazy shit the past year and a half or so, and it's been a blessing in disguise as I've learned much about myself.

Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, and what is life?  To me it's trying to live with integrity and honor, being honest with myself when I fail to live up to that ideal, being there for myself so that I can be there for others when needed, and being grateful to those who care enough and have the integrity to call me out when I fail to live up to that.

As Kevin said,


"I'm pretty much done being outraged by it all."

So I'll be here, sitting back and enjoying the simple, good things in life. :)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Quote of the Day - Love

War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

Anti-gun folks either don't understand this concept, or don't care.  Or perhaps the idea of an individual defending, by force, something they cherish, is completely and utterly foreign to them because they view government force as the only legitimate means of force.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sign of the Times

To paraphrase something my father said recently  "When even I'm thinking It'd be a good idea to have a gun you know things are going to shit in this country."  This was, of course, followed by statements of his that reminded me that, in my opinion, he lacks the temperament and maturity to be a responsible gun owner.

That said, when someone like my father is listening to Obama's response to radical Islamic terrorism and thinks "Gun control?!  Obama thinks gun control is going to keep Americans safe?!  These were terrorists!  They were building bombs in their garage for crying out loud" My father is not and has never been what anyone would call pro-gun.  I have to imagine that a huge portion of America looks at Obama's response to ISIS and they think he is feckless, weak, and dangerous.  A complete and utter joke of a man who deliberately misunderstands the threat.

Now, I also think that some people flat out shouldn't own guns.  There are perhaps 3-4 people I've known in my life who could legally buy a gun but whom I think have no business owning or carrying one.  One of the folks on that short list is my father.  One is someone who already owns and carries a gun, and the other two are hardcore leftists who I doubt will ever show interest in gun ownership.  I could write a whole other post on that subject.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quote of the Day - Jews in the Attic

This tends to bring Joe’s “Jews in the Attic Test” concept into sharp relief, since people are already talking about rounding up gun owners, calling them murderers, and wanting to hang them from their toes or worse. That sounds exactly like what was being said about Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled and other “undesirables” in Germany in the ’20s and ’30s.

And there is a direct, straight-line ideological connection between Progressives of today and German National Socialists of the early 20th century who got many of their ideas from American Progressives. Never forget it. Hillary, for one, proudly calls herself an “early 20th century Progressive”.

If you’re really considered a murderer and a piece of shit, there’s no limit to what the accusers will do to you if given the chance and the backing of their peers. You are sub human AND you are a threat and an impediment to the glorious system of equality and justice that the Marxists believe in with what can only be described as a religious fervor.

These are the Useful Idiots– an army of zombies carefully and painstakingly bred through decades of social engineering. They are the victims of psychological warfare. As though having been bitten by the master vampire, they now lust for your blood and they are under his control.

-Lyle - Commenting at Joe's.

THIS.  There are people who wish for me to be robbed, murdered, shot etc.  There are those who genuinely profess a desire for me to commit suicide (only by gun of course)  The ones who dehumanize me, who say I have no empathy, who claim I want to see children dead, all because I support the defense and exercise of a constitutional right. Yes, they treat us this way because of our stance on a right and not because of religion or ethnicity, but it is bigotry nonetheless.

These people, who gleefully call for such violence against people like myself, support the vast majority of the policies of the "Progressive" movement of last century.  Pre-Nazi Germany was one of the most advanced, civilized places in Europe.  The dehumanizing and disarmament of an entire class of people, along with constant propaganda from the media and leaders was all it took to condition people to hold hatred and bigotry for Jews in their hearts.  Useful idiots can be easily conditioned to hate the "scapegoat." Hatred is a dangerous emotion.  That is as true today as it was in Post-Weimar Germany.

Frankly, the hatred and bigotry towards gun owners IS waning.  In large parts of the U.S.A. we are winning.  In others however the bigotry is so thick that you could cut it with a knife.  Jay G. had a post (I can't find it for the life of me right now) about how some of the folks at his old job in MA treated him upon his departure, when they found out they'd been working along side one of *those people* I.E. GASP.....an evil, NRA loving, baby killin' raaaaaaaaacist gun owner.  It was disheartening, but not at all surprising.  If you live in a blue state and are pro-gun, you will have people who will react this way to you.  I've had it happen myself.  There was a woman I've known since I was a kid, who dated my best friend all through high school, who I've always gotten along with.  I post one thing after Sandy Hook on facebook and suddenly she is attacking me like I'm the most despicable person in the world.  Her older sister also jumped in and did the same, before unfriending me (good riddance!)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Open Carry and Being Politically Smart

So the Delaware Legislature just passed a bill allowing local municipalities to ban open carry in government buildings.  Basically, this is something that wasn't even on the radar until folks started OC'ing to public meetings.

Ideally we should be able to CCW or OC without any permit, any place we like.  Reality says otherwise, especially in a Democratically controlled state that, like it or not, can legislatively steamroll gun owners.

Call me an anti / fud or whatever, but in my mind it makes no sense to galvanize people against us, especially in DE, where we are behind enemy territory and, frankly, extremely lucky not to be as screwed as say, MD or NY.  The introduction and passage of this bill was entirely predictable, and brought about entirely due to the actions of certain Open Carry folks.  On the other hand, I'm happy to read the bill and see that it's not a sweeping ban and is actually, dare I say.......reasonable.

HB 192

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Getting Back to Basics

My 29th year on this rock started out with a bang, and to say it did not start out well would be an understatement of massive proportions.  However, it is my sincere belief that attitude matters.  You can use situations to learn, grow and become a better person moving forward, or you can use bad situations to engage in perpetual victimhood "notmyfaultitis."  Those who choose the latter eschew genuine introspection.  That's part of life's journey.  Recognize your faults, your weak spots once exposed.  Recognize things you've done wrong so that you don't do them again in the future. Recognize things you do that make you a target for certain types of people and make the requisite changes to not be a target, including learning how to recognize said toxic people and stay away from them.

So I've been getting back to basics and doing things for me. Really, truly reminding myself that focusing on oneself does not mean I'm an asshole or a narcissist.

I've been signing up for 5K races on Races2Run.com and have rediscovered why I enjoyed running & races so much doing XC as a teen.  After a 10+ year hiatus I've run 4 races, including one in late april with both my big brother and nephew where the kid ran a great 5K time for a 10 year old.

I've also started doing Hill Workouts at the old course for the 1st time since high school.  If you want something that'll make an in-shape person wheeze like a 90 year old smoker at the end, Penn State Hill Workouts will do it. :P  Quarter up, down, half up, down, three quarter up, down, all the way up, down.  Drink, stretch, repeat, only now there's no coaches pushing me and no gatorade buckets at the top.

Oh, and don't put your hands on the top of the pole in the photo.  It's covered in bird shit...... heh.

I've also been unplugging myself, leaving the phone for emergencies, and spending time outside, enjoying the weather, friends, family, which sadly I feel like people forget to do.  Hell, look around at a restaurant.  You'll see entire families out to dinner, all looking down at their phones instead of enjoying eachothers company.  It's just odd.

Oh, and I've been trying to get the old guy back into shape and outside as much as possible for his age.  He turned 12 this March, and has lost a ton of weight since wintertime.  I'm not entirely sure what he thinks of the new puppy, but he seems to tolerate her when they're both together.




Heck I even went out, bought a basketball and started hitting the courts again for the first time in years. After losing nearly 15 pounds at some point around the tail end of 2014 / early 2015 I've started seriously eating right, have stuck to it, thankfully gained weight back and have felt great as a result.  I've begun hitting the gym at work and actually utilizing the personal trainers that are here everyday, 50 feet from my desk, whom I can work out with in our full gym for free.  Amazing that I didn't take advantage of this for the first ~7+ years I worked here.  The stretching and mobility training alone have been a godsend for a lanky dude with CP.  Why I didn't do this before I do not know.  Stubbornness. Bleh.

As one trainer said to me when I came in to get stretched out on race day "Jesus, you were going to run a 5K with your back and legs like this?!  That's suicidal."

Laura, on this very blog once commented that "I think your stubbornness defines you far more than your physical situation." And honestly, she was right.  That said, stubbornness can be a trait that's either virtue or vice,  and that applies to so much more than just stretching.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Quote of The Day - Perspective

"I wasn't having a good race. every step was more demanding than the one before. I was on the course feeling sorry for myself, just wanting the pain to be over. Suddenly this young boy came jogging up on my right and said with a big grin on his face "beautiful day for a run, huh?" I looked down and saw that he had no legs. He was running on prosthetics made from carbon fiber. It was, indeed, a beautiful day for a run."
-John W. Quinn

Perspective and attitude matter.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Go Anywhere Gun - Beretta Jetfire

This is my "go anywhere" gun.  The gun that goes in work slacks, or into my gym shorts walking from the gym to my car. The Beretta Jetfire. Some may say it's silly to carry a .25 ACP in one of the most dangerous cities in America, but it sure beats the 1911 sitting in my safe at home.
Unlike Caleb, I never have a hot cuppa Dunkin coffee with me.....

$200, in great shape, and it looked like it'd had very, very few rounds through it and was then pretty much never carried.  The patina look in this photo is due to the sun & the photo app I used.

I think my iPhone with a Mophie case might weigh more than the gun does.

The only downside is that the Desantis Nemesis pocket holster I've been using for it is not the greatest.  Anyone else who has carried / used to carry a Jetfire have any other pocket holster suggestions?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Quote of the Day - Thomas Paine on "Dropping the Rope"

“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” 

Thomas Paine

Not just argue with, but engage at all, in any capacity.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

BAG Day 2015

So, today is Tax Day, also known as "Buy A Gun" day.

I won't be buying a gun today.  Maybe I'll stop by Cabela's and buy a box of ammo.

Given that I'm not buying a gun, what are all of you gonna buy?

I admit, I wouldn't mind picking up a lever action rifle in .32 H&R Magnum, or perhaps another Dan Wesson 1911, but neither of those are going to happen.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Quote of the Day - Wronged

" I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."

- John Wayne
Love this quote. The man was wise in lots of ways.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Someone Like Me

I think it's the right time in my life to re-read this book.  If forgotten just how good it is 👍


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Missed my 7th Blogiversary

It's hard to believe I started this blog back on December 10, 2007

And here I am, bringing this blog back from the brink of dead. :P