Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Quote of the Day - Dogs

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

Monday, October 30, 2017

Carry Rotations....

I've been carrying for about a decade now, and when I look back, one thing that strikes me as especially absurd is the idea of a carry rotation.  I used to carry whatever I happened to feel like on a given day.

Now?  Now my usual carry piece is Insert ubiquitous plastic pistol here or, similarly, insert smaller ubiquitous plastic pistol here, in the appendix position.  The only change / addition to this is pocket carry, which means I'm carrying a S&W 432pd in a Desantis pocket holster or, when I absolutely can't carry a gun, a Beretta Jetfire in .25ACP slipped into a pocket.

*Ubiquitous plastic pistol being S&W M&P, Walther PPQ, M&P Shield

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mencken was right

"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." - H.L. Mencken

Saying that in America even the most morally repugnant people have rights doesn't mean you support anything about them, it just means you see the danger in allowing the majority to say "violence in response to speech is ok, so long as it's done by people we like against people the majority deems "bad" That concept can quickly be turned against you in the future depending upon which majority holds power.

If we allow the mob to decide who is protected by our bill of rights and who isn't, those rights mean nothing. I am seeing way too many people who apparently believe that if they deem an individual or group morally bad enough, predatory extralegal violence against suddenly becomes justified, and the rights of those "bad people" shouldn't be protected. Weird, because using enforcers in the streets to threaten and violently attack people they considered "bad" was exactly what the Nazi's did. It's a hallmark of fascism and marxism and antithetical to American values. The Nazi's called them Browncoats. Today, the American left calls them "Antifa" I hate that the left in America has gone so stark raving mad that they're consistently putting me in the disgusting position of having to defend Nazis.

Friday, April 21, 2017


I've been staying away from the news a lot these days, because I think there are better, more fulfilling, more positive uses of my time.

That said, these Berkeley Protests, Antifa etc.  It just makes me sad.  I see people on both sides who are consumed by a great deal of hate.  Hatred consumes and fuels them.  They project it out of themselves and outward toward the evil "other."  In fact, I think most "Social Justice Warrioring" boils down to this behavior.  Well, this and professional victimhood.

I have pretty much no respect for a great deal of political viewpoints, particularly of the "progressive" bent.  But that doesn't mean everyone who doesn't think like me is stupid or evil or dangerous.  I see conservative and libertarians who are proud of the fact that they've basically "purged" their lives (and facebook/social media) of leftists.  I think that's sad and intolerant.  What would it say about me if I couldn't be friends with someone just because they voted for Hillary, or Obama, or Trump, or held different views on political issues?  I dare say it'd reflect far more poorly on myself than on them.

I lived with a hardcore leftist roommate for ~6 years.  I considered him a friend and still do.  What I'm seeing in America is a lot less of an ability to do this.

I also recognize that the hatred is NOT as widespread as it is among the Berkeley crowds and that the mainstream media, social media and social justice / race agitators want people to be at each others throats. They want us to think things are worse than they really are.  I have spent a decade working in the city of Wilmington.  Parking in and walking to and from a very bad area of the East Side.  I am distinctly an "other" in that area.  I keep my guard up, there are those who don't like me, and I've had my share of overtly racist "white boy / cracker" type comments.  Even there, the majority of folks are not bad people, not out to get me nor I them, not criminals, etc.

I thought the hatred, the hysteria, the fake news and othering was bad during the Obama days, and yet now it has all intensified.  I was a bit of a politics / news junkie and even I've gone "yeah, no" and tuned out much of the noise.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Zack Update

Every time I second guess this dog and think maybe it’s his time, he proves me wrong.  Eventually that won’t be the case.  I’m always glad to spend time with him, even though I worry and even though he is more work these days.  I think the vets were surprised he pulled through after he got sick this time last year. Then, in November he tore his ACL, and his ability to adapt and still get around truly amazed me.

The way I see it, for all the joy, happiness, and laughter our dogs give us through the years, for all the life lessons they teach us, we owe them so very much in the twilight of their lives.  We owe them patience, encouragement, and reassurance, a caring hand, fun trips, and above all, the same fiercely unwavering loyalty that they show us.

Some of his issues remind me of this, though we aren't quite to that point yet.  

Late February on the Bay

January 2017 his favorite place

March 2017 - Those Beach house stairs are tough

Late March 2017 - Told I have to go to work.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Delaware CCDW renewal and carry changes

So, I sent my renewal paperwork for my Delaware CCDW off to the prothonotary this week.

We don't have to jump through all of the hoops required for the original application when doing renewals. No fingerprints & background check, no ad in the newspaper, no class, etc.  Now it's just the $65 payment, the application, and two passport photos.  Also, the permits are now good for 5 years not 3, which is good, since 3 years really turned out to be 2.5 for me due to how they structure renewal timeframes.  Interestingly, my mothers CCDW turned out to be good for 5 years and looks official instead of something done by a drunk college student.  Even though we took our NRA course together, she filed everything a few months after I did and lucked out.

Hopefully they process renewals faster than they do the original applications.  If not, well under Delaware law I can still conceal on an expired permit so long as my renewal application has been filed.

While I didn't carry for a few months after getting the permit, that was for personal reasons due to a crazy situation I was in at the time.  Other than that period, I've pretty much carried daily, 99% of the time.

I've also switched to AIWB, which for my frame is far more suitable for everyday carry than strong side hip IWB.  The switch to appendix carry made perfect sense when I broke my strong side leg during a half marathon in November 2015.  reaching back and drawing from my left hip was out of the question since it meant shifting weight onto the broken leg.  I also screwed up my left shoulder due to the time spent on a walker and found I couldn't draw properly when it was acting up.  Appendix carry worked for me, even while gimped up on one leg.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


As of this moment, I can legally carry in every state in America except California, Connecticut, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

So basically, I can't carry in a handful of uber liberal states in the Northeast, and the two most liberal states on the west coast, and two outliers, Illinois and South Carolina.

Technically I could apply for a CT non-resident permit, but I don't see myself visiting anyway.  Not to mention the CT permit application has a specific question about your arrest record and I have been arrested before, though it wasn't for a violent crime or anything even remotely serious.

South Carolina surprises me, and I could see reciprocity being expanded there in the future.  Maryland and the Northeast states listed are basically lost causes.  There are Two America's in this country now, and those states have squeezed out their gun culture and with it many freedom loving folks to where they are far past the tipping point.  There's just not enough of a pro-gun & pro-liberty voting block in those states to tip the balance back towards individual liberty.  Gun laws in those states have gotten progressively worse and with that, gun owners flee.  It's a slow process, but through attrition, it becomes that much harder for the remaining folks to fight the petty tyrants.  Oh, and the tyrants know this.

I don't know what it'd take to get reciprocity or even any form of shall issue carry in the states listed (or even shall issue in DE)  If anything the Two Americas is only going to get worse, with red states getting redder and blue states getting bluer.  I'm uncertain what the solution to this is and I'm not entirely convinced there is any good solution.  For now though, I'm pretty happy that by and large, the number of states where I can legally carry my gun has increased.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Dinnertable is Not the Place for Politics

Over this Independence Day weekend I got to spend the weekend at a cookout at my Uncle and his wife's house.  Present were a friend of his wife's, who I had never met and who was very, very liberal politically.  Also present was a family member who, for lack of a better explanation, I don't get along with, don't respect and generally avoid.  Now, the lady was a leftist, a Clinton apologist and perhaps a bit naive, but so what?* My family member on the other hand, just couldn't resist politics, and the only reason I knew politics was being discussed is because I could hear him raising his voice at this woman, repeatedly.  Why?  Because she defended Hillary and that made you angry?

So what?  I'm not saying never have political discussions with those you're likely to disagree with.  Hardly, I think I learn from such discussions.  That said, there's a time and a place, and a holiday cookout isn't it, especially with someone you've just met when you know full well you're not going to see eye to eye.

If you are yelling at a person because they politely and calmly disagreed with you, you are wrong, full stop.  If I walk outside because of the commotion and you introduce me into this situation with "Mike is a libertarian, a gun owner and an NRA member" and then try to steer the "discussion" to guns, you're just being an ass.  As a dumbass 19 year old kid I may have taken that bait, but at 30 years old, there are things that are simply not appropriate, not worth my time, and just plain old unpleasant. I know how many of those discussions will go, and I could argue the anti-gun side better than the anti-gun leftist I'm talking with at this point.

*Not everyone you meet is your "enemy" just because they disagree with you politically.  I don't have any respect for a whole host of leftist political positions, but that doesn't make every person who holds one of those positions my "enemy" or evil etc., etc. Not every Leftist is Bill Ayers.  I do wonder though, given experience with other anti-gun liberals, how she'd have seen me if she knew I had a pistol on me while I was sitting across from her, drinking a beer and eating tasty meat.

Happy Birthday America!

Happy birthday to the greatest country on earth, a country where, simply being born here is like winning the worldwide lottery.

America, fuck yeah!

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 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. 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!)