Political Stuff

Skip this post if an off-the-cuff and free discussion of a few of my own opinions about politics in the U.S. is something you’re not interested in, is something that’ll upset you and interfere with your ability to function at home, work, or school.

Red State versus Blue State

This should be obvious to anyone who’s honestly given the matter thought.  Some newsroom media gatekeepers back when this dichotomous metaphor was introduced into the national dialogue/propaganda-stream and applied to Republican and Democrat leaning states or voting districts, respectively, made the color distinctions on the basis of left-leaning bias.  Let me explain.

In what passes for societal understanding today, the color red is in popular culture construed to represent extreme anger or danger.  See, for instance, that children’s film, Inside Out.  The little red guy is Anger.  And although blue may be said to connote depression – and this actually is in large measure applicable to leftists – blue also in our society connotes courage and steadfastness.  For instance, the old phrase, “True Blue,” as defined Merriam-Webster online dictionary means “unswerving loyalty, as to a party.”

Now, can you imagine what would have happened if the media-gatekeepers and their political handlers had reversed the color-coding?  In terms of metaphorical truth-telling and societal folk-meaning, election maps both local and national would have shown huge swaths of Blue whereas smaller sections of Red would have indicated concentrations of left-leaning, socialist, or stealth-communist voter populations.  The color Red is commonly associated with communism.  This would have been too much for the mainstream media to have to explain away on a frequent basis, so it was clearly the smart thing, in order to advance the cause of Democrat Party stealth-socialism to label conservative voting states and districts Red and their own as Blue.  That is what advances their “narrative.”

As to the actual symbolism of the American flag, I recall learning in elementary school that White represents purity and innocence, Red represents the blood shed by our Revolutionary War forebearers, and Blue represents their courage and fortitude.  A slightly differing but probably more accurate explanation of the American flag’s color symbolism may be found here.  And White – as a symbol of purity, of innocence?  There’s no place in what passes for public discourse for that idea.

Why isn’t anybody talking about this?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Am I the only one who sees this?  Bulging eyes and shocking teeth like the Silent Era vampire, Count Orlock from the film, Nosferatu.

Tumblr_kxm7nkGnAo1qaqps8o1_500

Vampires are the hominid parasites of folklore

maxresdefault-5-696x392

Socialists are the human parasites of the present day

Life Since June

As my June 2019 post indicated, I’ve been focused much more on living life than photographing or writing about it.

Did I mention it here?  In June, for my wife’s birthday, I got it into my head to bake her a cake.  She requested a cherry chip cake made from scratch.  I ended up more assisting her than making it myself, but she was pleased.  It was good enough to eat.

Cherry-Chip-Cake

Frosting also from scratch

Good-Enough-to-Eat

Turned out the cake was edible

In July, my family and I motored north to my wife’s family farm in Indiana (I always hate writing ‘in Indiana’ but this time will not find another way to present that data) where my wife was briefly reabsorbed by her family, I spent a lot of time bicycling, and our son hung out with and bonded with his cousins.  I crashed or fell off my bike twice in the same day injuring a different shoulder each time and am still feeling the residual effects of one of the injuries.  Both falls were stupid and each was my own fault – while annoying, that truth actually does help me accept the ongoing pain.   Rode to Muncie, Prairie Creek Reservoir, small municipalities thereabouts.  I saw what looked like a heroes’-gate shrine of some sort.  No hero this writer, I didn’t walk through the gate although I found it open.

Indiana-Chip-&-Seal-Road

Indiana chip and seal road

July-3-2019-Ride

Nazarene church parking lot where I crashed the first time.  Don’t ask.

Muncie-Chic-Fil--A

Muncie Chic-Fil-A.  I eat there every year.

Muncie-Grafitto

Only one graffiti snapshot.  Grassroots Christianity is an interesting phenomenon.

Patriotic-House

Patriotic display in a poor community.  I really liked it.

Heroes'-Gate

Heroes’ gate

Sometime during the intervening months, my car hit 222,222 miles, but I snapped the odometer photo at 222,223 – missed it by that much.

Missed-It-by-This-Much

Missed it by that much…

Last month, my son and I finally painted the mailbox’s weathered, white wooden post.  My mother has averted her eyes in shame the past 5 – 6 years when she’s come over to the house to visit due to the deficient pride in ownership that neglect has evidenced.  The month before, I finally finished sanding out the damage perpetrated by our yard’s squirrels upon three of my 2005 Pouch RZ96’s cockpit ribs.  I’d left the kayak assembled outdoors and neglected it during a dark period in my life when I worked in an agency maybe best described as the unfortunate-kid-from-the-dysfunctional-family-down-the-street of law enforcement.  About three weeks ago, I re-varnished the squirrel damaged ribs.

Repaired,-varnished-RZ96-Ribs

I’ve been writing out my thoughts and ideas – working on a conceptualization of a variety of human interaction I refer to as “Shit Room Theory.”  It’s not ready for publication yet and I’m trying to figure out how to manage a lecture on the subject for my YouTube channel.  That said, in its embryonic form, the theory’s been of help to two or three individuals facing a variety of unpleasantness.

After having been in my “new” office since March of this year, I finally last month admitted to myself I was unable to make sense of the room’s shape, its space, for the purposes of hanging my stack of artwork and arranging my furniture.  Once I’d done that, I asked a family friend if she could help me out with the office and within the space of about 4.5 hours, she’d corrected and made sense of my office’s decor – I simply followed instructions and moved things, sorted clutter.  The woman’s a genius.  If it wasn’t a breach of my company’s rules, I’d post a couple of photos to prove it.

Within a couple of days of that, a family very dear to us relocated to Helena, Montana.  Theodore Zachariades has taken a position preaching at a Reformed Baptist congregation not far from that capitol as well as working with a Christian polemics website, Pulpit & Pen.  Although I haven’t had much contact with the Theodore and his family in the past year and a half, my world feels emptier with them hundreds of miles distant.  Not gone, as the Expanded Universe Mandos have it, just marching far away.

Yesterday morning, I assembled the RZ96 and with my son’s help loaded it onto my Volvo’s roof-racks and drove to a nearby slough with a put-in at a rural city park.  I gave the boy the good water shoes and wore a many year’s old pair from Wal-Mart that tore up while we were lining the boat through shallows.  This was his first time in a kayak, and he’d been nervous because he supposed the behemoth unstable.  By day’s end, however, he was comfortable enough to stand while underway to better view the scenery.  I hope you have all been well and that you enjoy the photos.

Avec-Fils-RZ96

Bees'-Nest

My son saw what he referred to as a “bees’ nest.” We steered well clear of this hazard.

RZ96-2d-Lunch-Stop

Second lunch stop.  Dunno whether these were piers from bygone footbridge or part of an equally past-tense dam of some sort.

RZ96-Elk-River-Shallows

In the shallows.  That’s a Klepper paddle probably my age.  We did some umbrella sailing early on.  My son didn’t think it would work and was amazed when it did.

Christov10-RZ96-2019

This is how I look when I’m smiling.  Obligatory selfie.

Life is for Living

As has been the case for the last two or three years, I’ve been busier and more interested in living life with my family than I have been in writing about it.  Here’s a little of what’s been going on:

A New Bike for 76

Last Thursday, I picked up a 2005 Gary Fisher Tarpon from a Craigslist seller for my son.  He outgrew and sold off his 1990s Giant Talon 7-speed mountain bike a couple of years ago and I’ve kept the money from that to go toward a new bike.  We tried to sell on Craigslist his 1970s Columbia Challenger in ride-able, original condition but got not even one query.  I convinced my son to donate the bike to a local bicycle club’s “reCycle” program for needy kids and told him I’d combine the value of that bike with the money from the Giant.  The Tarpon cost $65 – about 20 dollars over Bicycle Blue-Book’s valuation for an ’05 Tarpon in excellent condition, but the the bike was in such good shape I wasn’t going to insult the seller by offering less than 1/3 his asking price.  At $65, the bike came in well under the $327 the original dealer receipt indicated the seller paid in 2005.

Boy's Road Bicycle

1970’s Columbia Challenger – above.

76's-Mtn-Bike

2005 Gary Fisher Tarpon – yes, I have the original seat and plan to clean it up and install it if my son decides he hates the strange, spongy seat that’s on the bike, now.

Mother’s Day Breakfast

I haven’t really learned how to cook, but I can scramble eggs and am trying to learn how to make an omelet.  I usually arise on the weekends before dawn and head to the gym, then return to the house before my family is awake and make some kind of breakfast – scrambled eggs and tortillas with salsa, for instance.  On Mother’s Day, this year, I prepared a breakfast for my wife and son consisting of scrambled eggs, sausage patties, and biscuits.  I know, three things, right?  I was able to manage preparation times so that I cleaned up as I cooked and had everything on the table at about the same time.  Family was happy with my efforts, so I’ve done this two or three times since.

Mother's-Day-Breakfast

Water Snake – Poisonous? Probably

Sometime close to Mother’s day, my son and I rode a local greenway and, while looking at a creek from a low bridge saw this snake.  We saw a couple of others that day, as well.

Water-Snake

Theis Holsters

For the sake of comfort, I wish we lived in a society where open-carry was the norm.  That said, Theis Holsters serve as a relatively comfortable inside-the-waistband means to concealed-carry my pistols.  I purchased the basic leather version – EZ Clip for my FNS-9c and the Single Clip for my Glock 42.

Theis-Holsters

Lunchtime Rides Continue

Since the weather’s dried up a bit – and it was about the wettest autumn and winter I can recall here in Southern Middle Tennessee – I’ve been keeping the Miyata 610 at the office and riding 3-5 miles during my lunch hours maybe three or four days a week.  Here’s the uphill view from one of the routes I take:

Lunchtime-Ride-Late-May

Christov Tenn YouTube Channel

Way back before Google bought YouTube, I had a You Tube account.  Today, while monkeying around there, I was able to recover my account.  Here it is:

ChristovTenn Channel

I think at the time I was still blogging at Yahoo.  That seems like a long time ago.

Since about September of last year, 2018, I’ve been thinking through a theory of human social interaction and considering how best to present it.  Maybe a couple of YouTube whiteboard talks.  Dunno yet.

YouTube Gun Vloggers

Back when I was working for the state, one of my friends at work tried to get me to watch a shave-headed, arrogant sounding jack-genius talking about what needed to happen to rid our country of our nation’s first moslem-communist president.  While in a very unfocused and general way I tended to agree with some of the speaker’s stated opinions, I:

  1. Thought the guy was idiotically espousing actions that were unjustifiable given actual conditions and also clearly illegal.
  2. Didn’t have the patience to make a commitment to listening to the wackadoodle long enough to really “get” his core message.
  3. For several years paid no attention whatsoever to YouTube again r/t anything either controversial or mundane that wasn’t about folding kayaks.

Within the last year or so, though, I’ve spent more time target shooting and have dusted off some of the weapons I’ve had for decades.  Shooting the guns means I’ve got to clean them and some of them I hadn’t cleaned in decades.  Also was interested in researching handguns for self-defense and concealed carry.  You guessed it, I was able to find disassembly and reassembly instructions on every firearm I own and most of the ones I’d like to own on YouTube, as well as countless firearm reviews.  User forums specific to particular manufacturers have been helpful as well, in researching various pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

YouTube Wackadoodles

Many, many YouTubers fall into the category of unintentionally and comedically stupid, diagnosably sick of mind, or incompletely educated about whatever subject they’ve identified as their vlogging niche.

Intelligent YouTube Gun Guys

On the less disordered end of the spectrum, there’re a few YouTubers who, while they’ve got some quirks, generally provide real information of use to the interested viewer.

Silverado Shooting Academy

The Secret to Mastering the Handgun

I’m not sure why I didn’t post a link to this video when I first published this blog entry, but I’m correcting that omission today (3/10/2019).  The Obi-Wan Kenobi guy who narrates most of the instructional material is really good.  I’ve incorporated a lot of what he teaches into my shooting and my accuracy has improved markedly.  At the end of the video, there’s a presentation about how to interest girls in shooting that is worth watching, as well.

Hickok 45

One of the least disordered You Tube gun vloggers is an older guy who reports he’s a Middle Tennessee resident and has a video on just about every firearm offered for sale on Armslist.com, Hickok 45.  What is it about people whose measured intelligence is likely greater than one standard deviation above the mean that makes them so entertaining?  Who would have guessed the old gun-guy rides a bike?  Here’re the videos to prove it.

Paul Harrell

Another of the much brighter than average gun-vloggers whose videos I enjoy watching is Paul Harrell.  He’s a middle-aged ex-military guy whose speaking voice is a lot like that of Mark Hamill.  Compare this Luke Skywalker attempt to reason with Jabba the Hutt (begins at about the 3:04 mark) in this video to Harrell’s video diction in any of his own videos.

One of the things I liked about Paul Harrell’s videos immediately was the deadpan way he delivers routine statements like, “We’re at the range today, so please excuse the noise you hear in the background,” or when he describes to composition of a type of target he uses to test the effectiveness of ammunition and firearms.  I recognized his style of delivery as similar that which I, in a previous vocational incarnation, used when uttering a particular phrase, explaining from a manual, or administering an assessment’s stimulus query for the hundredth time.

There are three or four other YouTube gun guys whose videos I sometimes watch, but not many.  If you’ve got a little spare time, an interest in shooting and firearms, as well as a broadband connection to the Internet, check out the YouTube channels linked above.

If you were paying attention, you may have noticed two Star Wars references in this post.

Nanking FN Browning M1900

Here are a few pictures of the subject-line referenced antique which I mentioned in my previous post. I used them for an Armslist.com classified ad.  Because I didn’t get any offers I was willing to accept, and because I got a Christmas bonus sufficiently large I didn’t money from the item’s sale to purchase a 9mm pistol for every day carry, I pulled the ad and kept the counterfeited pistol.  Here are the photos:

Chinese-M1900-Disassembled

Chinese M1900 Leftside Disassembled

Chinese-M1900-Right-Side

Chinese-M1900-Leftside

Chinese-M1900-Barrel-Markings

And here are a few photos of the Nanking Browning alongside my FNS-9c.  As noted elsewhere on the Internet, this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison.  However, both are striker-fired pistols designed for concealed carry.  The ersatz FNH pistol is designed for .32 caliber and the modern polymer FN pistol for 9mm. The former has a single-stack magazine with a capacity of about nine, if memory serves, and the latter a double-stack magazine that holds 12 rounds.

FN-Side-by-Side

FNS-9-c-Ersatz-FN-M1900

FN-Backview-Comparison

FN-Frontview-Comparison

Pistols for Everyday Use

It’s true, and you probably already knew this – I like firearms and have enjoyed plinking since I was kid.  Following my Astra Constable debacle, I’ve acquired yet another Walther PP “clone” – a FEG PA63 in .380 caliber, a Glock 42, and an FNS-9c.  Additionally, I’ve also discovered what I thought was my FN Browning M1900 is actually an “Asian” or Chinese copy possibly manufactured in the 1920s or 1930s in a warlord’s armory.

High Standard Supermatic Flite-King

With weighted barrel, this .22 LR pistol is a joy to shoot – close to zero recoil and not much report.

High-Standard-Flite-King

Walther PPK & Kel-Tec P32

These are two pistols I’ve carried at various times.  The P32 is great for bicycling and kayaking but was defective upon purchase and required warranty work.  Since the factory repairs, it’s been 100 percent reliable.  The Walther I have been keeping locked away now that I’ve got other, less irreplaceable options.

Walther-PPK-&-Kel-Tec-P32

FEG PA63 .380

I traded an older pistol that looked like it’d spent 50 years at the bottom of a well after having exhumed from a roadside ditch.  The PA63 is an accurate pistol and reliably cycles even antique ammunition.  As a bonus, it fits in a couple of my PPK holsters and I have a lot of .380 ammunition.

PA63-Leftside

PA63-Rightside

Glock 42

I traded, at considerable loss, my Astra Constable toward this Glock 42 back in June of last year.  The Glock malfunctions every round using the lower power, antique Peters and the modern PPU ammunition, however the antique Western Ammunition Service ammo induces no malfunctions.  The Glock also reliably cycles Buffalo Bore +P ammunition, which is what I keep in the magazine.

Glock-42-w-Antique-&-Modern-Ammo

FNS-9c, Anniversary Edition

Caution-Lady, my wife, picked out a ring with a lot of small diamonds in it to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  What I wanted was a Walther P99 in 9×19, but I was unable to locate one at a price I was willing to pay around the same time as I bought my wife her new ring.  What I did find, and it felt like a kind of consolation prize, was a used FNS-9c.  After I bought it, I learned that FNH America has issued a voluntary recall on the FNS series.  I ordered Theis EZ-Clip holster for 9c and sent it back to the factory for service.  The holster arrived a couple of days before the pistol was returned.  Here are a couple of pictures of the weapon holstered – the first is all Pinteresty-looking.  Yes, the staged image is my attempt at a joke.  The second’s just a picture.

FNS-9c-&-Theis-Holster-Devotional-Image

FNS-9c-&Theis-EZ-Clip-Closeup

About the FNS-9c – it’s the only semi-automatic pistol I own that’s not malfunctioned due to cheap practice ammo or operator error.  I’ve fired close to 500 rounds of mixed quality inexpensive range ammunition and 41 rounds of good quality self-defense ammunition.  While it is not as aesthetically pleasing as a Walther P99c, the FNS-9c is a pistol I shoot accurately with confidence in its reliability.  I’m glad I’ve got it.

FNS-9c-17-Magazine