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Monday, June 18, 2018

ACP Episode 011: Feel the Love

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer'd talk about our friends on Patreon and how much we love them, and the giveaway we're holding for a C-5 9mm AR lower from New Frontier Armory.
  • Our main topic is the revelation that Florida may -- or may not -- have been conducting background checks on their Concealed Weapons Permit applicants.
  • The Egghead tells us all about the benefits of a Ham Radio license and how to get one.
  • Savage1R detours from cryptocurrency to talk about his new AR-15 project, the DB5000.
  • Weer'd fisks part 1 of an anti-gun rant by sex advice podcaster Dan Savage (no relation).
  • David talks about butting heads with very anti-gun people in New York from High School through last year.
  • and Steve talks about some hazards on the job of being a PI, and how things can go from calm to crazy really fast.

Listen to the episode here.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that's $1/podcast) and you'll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like blooper reels!

Show Notes

Main Topic:
  • Thundershirt for dogs
  • Rock Rose flower essence
  • Stripped C-5 Lower
  • Florida Report on NICS Incident
  • Florida NICS Background Checks Reports. Some stuff is not making sense  
  • Tampa Bay Times & Fake News: Background Check were performed after all
Savage Segment:
Weer’d Audio Fisk:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

I Have Begun Writing Fiction Again

It's been years since I had both the urge to write fiction and an idea for a story, but I currently have both so I've started again.

It's a short story about a young woman named Bronislava Artemievna Vinogradova and her heirloom Mosin-Nagant named Grandmother Rifle.

It's basically a love letter to the M91/30 set in an urban fantasy setting.

If you're a Patron of mine, you can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

If you aren't a Patron.. why aren't you?  Go here and sign up today!

Image found on Pinterest. I don't know who originally made it or where it's from. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fiction Break: A Still Point In Time 4

Stark Expo, 13 June, 1942

Strains of Glenn Miller's In The Mood wafted over the warm summer evening air punctuated by fireworks, masking the groaning sound of the TARDIS landing behind a cotton candy stand. The door opened, and Clara stepped out wearing a cushy beige cardigan and matching dress. She stopped and admired the fireworks bursting in the sky behind the giant globe that sat in the center square of the Expo. The Doctor stepped out behind her and noticed Clara glaring at him.

"What?" he said innocently.

"You insisted that I dress period-appropriate, reasoning that we were guests in this timeline, but here you are in a hoodie and jumper that look like they were attacked by a ravenous pack of moths."

"Oh, that's fine. Here, problem solved," Clara's eyes widened as the wizened visage of the Doctor melted away into that of a woman no older than her, blonde hair in a style fashionable for the 1940s.

"What... wait, what exactly did you just..." Clara was having trouble finding the words to describe what she'd just seen. The Doctor smiled through the young woman's face, and his voice came in a soft American accent as he held up a small device that looked like a pager.

"Image inducer. The TARDIS databanks found it in the aborted timeline and replicated the technology. Because it keeps trying to reassert itself, little parts of the other timeline bleed through. This little gadget is amazing, it's like a cross between the holographic clothes we wore to see the Papal Mainframe and the TARDIS's own perception filter. You probably haven't noticed, but you're speaking in American accent now, too."

Clara clutched at her throat momentarily, but the Doctor strode off in his patent leather pumps, continuing to talk, "Now then, the information I was able to pull out of our rodent friend's temporal dissection says that Captain America himself is witness to the focal point in time that caused the straw to go all bendy. We just have to follow him there and make sure it's fixed."

"And how do we do that? Wouldn't he be off punching Nazis? We are in the thick of World War II," Clara asked, following towards a pair of large statues.

"Easy. I had the TARDIS send him a psychic message. He thinks he's set up a double date with a friend of his and a couple of pretty young girls. Now, the image inducer has me covered, but do you think you can manage to pretend to be a pretty young girl for a few minutes at least?"

Clara bristled for a moment, "Doctor, I am a..." she started, before trailing off as her eye caught a handsome young dark-haired man in a dress uniform. "That must be him, yeah? He's cute. I can't just call him Captain America, though, can I? I mean that's not him yet."

"I think he goes by Bucky now," The Doctor said, fiddling with his screwdriver while Clara flagged down the soldier. He smiled, and approached with his short, slight blonde friend in tow. As they met, the soldier draped his arm around Clara and the Doctor ignored his friend. They all strolled together into the Modern Marvels Pavilion.

To be Concluded

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pulse: Two Years Later

Words of hope and unity from my friend Courtney Ballard. He's been an immense help to me since the very first moments of Operation Blazing Sword. Not only was he one of the first people to volunteer, he also set up our Facebook page when I was overwhelmed with everything else.

Thank you, Courtney!

Monday, June 11, 2018

ACP Episode 010: Promotion & Proliferation

In This Episode
  • Erin and Weer'd discuss getting the word out:
    • ... about the podcast.  We'd like to have our listeners sharing ACP with others so that more people can enjoy the show.
    • ... about Operation Blazing Sword, available swag, and the upcoming active shooter event. (Erin please flesh out the details of the event a little better for me)
    • ... about your local Second Amendment groups who do the lion's share of work for improving our rights. Join your local group, and get others to join as well!
  • One of our new contributors, Egghead, gives a primer on amateur (ham) radio.
  • Weer'd fisks a video of Robert Reich laughably called "5 Points to Counter the NRA"
  • David, our other new contributor, talks about being pro-gun in a massively anti-gun state in "Gun Lovers and Other Strangers".
  • and Steve talks about crime and gun laws in the city of Detroit, and then about volunteering for Rick Ector's group Legally Armed In Detroit where he helped instruct 700 women on the safe operation of pistols. 

Listen to the episode here.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that's $1/podcast) and you'll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like blooper reels!

Show Notes

Main Topic:
Weer'd Audio Fisk:
Tales From the Trunk:

Saturday, June 9, 2018

ONE AIM Community Seminar

Operation Blazing Sword is proud to present our first Community Safety Seminar!

ONE AIM is a 90-minute presentation on active shooter survival techniques, presented by experts in this field, including Orlando first responders. The discussion will include considerations as a legally armed civilian caught up in the midst of an active shooter situation.

Admission is FREE, but seating is limited and attendees must RSVP via this link:

Special thanks to Brownells, Inc. for sponsoring this event!

ONE AIM Community Safety Seminar
Saturday, July 14, 2018
1 pm – 3 pm
Roth Family Jewish Community Center
851 N. Maitland Avenue
Maitland, FL 32751

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Well-Meaning Diminishment

Pardon me, I need to get something off my chest. I apologize if I come across as scolding, but this is something which has been bothering me for months:
I know that people mean well when they look at my face and tell me that it's not a big deal, that it's only a little scar. I know that they are trying to tell me "It's hardly noticeable, don't freak out about it."
But what I hear is "You're really overreacting about this. Stop being such a damn baby. It's only a little scar."
And that drives me absofuckinglutely bugnuts because it diminishes what I went through, because while everyone else sees a scar that is healing nicely, what I see is a reminder that I was betrayed and assaulted by a pet that I loved and I thought I could trust, and that assault disfigured me. And I have to look at it EVERY. GODDAMN. DAY.

Imagine the worst thing that's happened to you. Now imagine being reminded of it every time you look in the mirror. Now, imagine someone telling you that your daily reminder of your worst moment is just a little thing, it's nothing to worry about, hardly noticeable. How would that make you feel?

Even though I know they mean well, it makes me feel like they are diminishing what I went through. "Oh, it's just a little mauling. You'll be fine."

So please, I beg you: please don't tell me my scar is so little, so minor, so hardly noticeable. Instead, please say something like "It's healing nicely." Which is true, because it is and I am. 

Nice and slow. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

ACP Episode 009: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

In this week's podcast:
  • Erin and Weer'd discuss FOSTA-SESTA and the implications it has for free speech on the internet, the safety of people in real life, and why it's relevant to the Second Amendment.
  • Savage discusses Initial Coin Offerings and the laws and pitfalls associated with them.
  • Connie talks about Memorial Day in Washington DC and answers some political questions that Erin and Weer'd asked.
  • Weer'd Gives us part two of his fisk of the Brady Campaign's "Gun Violence 101" video.
  • and Steve gives us his reflections on how Hollywood portrays private investigators and why they're wrong. 

Listen to the episode here.

Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that's $1/podcast) and you'll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like blooper reels!

Show Notes:

Saturday, June 2, 2018

An Exegesis of "Tourniquet"

Evanescence's Tourniquet is a crucifixional experience in musical form.

By this I mean "When Jesus Christ was dying on the cross, He was in agony, was probably regretting all of His choices, and called out to God asking why He had been forsaken, and this song captures all of that emotional intensity in an incredibly personal way."

The song starts with roughly 20 seconds of instrumental music that sounds like a wind through a foggy forest, and then suddenly there is a blast of guitar and percussion. I cannot help but feel this represents someone whose mind is drifting off, and then is suddenly, shockingly awake. Given what is said in the first verse, it's a pretty good musical metaphor for blood loss followed by panicked wakefulness.

[Verse 1]
I tried to kill the pain
But only brought more
(So much more)
I lay dying
And I'm pouring crimson regret and betrayal
I'm dying, praying, bleeding and screaming
Am I too lost to be saved?
Am I too lost?

This paints an incredibly evocative picture of a woman who has committed suicide by slashing her wrists and, as she lies dying, has a change of heart. She now wants to live, but is too weak to take action to save herself. Her only option is to pray to God and ask to be saved.

My God, my tourniquet
Return to me salvation
My God, my tourniquet
Return to me salvation

The phrase "My God, my tourniquet" is what convinces me that this is not a song about someone who has died but rather a song about someone who is dying and now desperately wants to live. "God, please staunch my bleeding" is how I read it. "God, please be my tourniquet. God, please save my life. I'm sorry I tried to kill myself. I no longer want to die. I want to live!"

[Verse 2]
Do you remember me?
Lost for so long
Will you be on the other side
Or will you forget me?
I'm dying, praying, bleeding and screaming
Am I too lost to be saved?
Am I too lost?

I too have struggled with feelings of divine rejection and a desire for death, and so this verse hits very close to home for me. "God, I know you and I haven't been on the best of terms lately. I don't know if I rejected you first or not, but I haven't felt your love in a very long time. Do you even care if I die? If I do, will you damn me to hell for suicide? Or will you know that I've been in a lot of pain and in a very dark place for such a long time, and that this seemed like the only way out for me?"

The phrase "Am I too lost to be saved?" is a plaintive cry for both physical and spiritual salvation.

My God, my tourniquet
Return to me salvation
My God, my tourniquet
Return to me salvation

{Screams: I WANT TO DIE!!!}

What's odd is that every time I listen to this song, I hear "DON'T WANT TO DIE!" instead, and it's gut-wrenchingly heartfelt. But even if you take it at face value it still doesn't damage my interpretation of the song, because there is always that self-destructive voice at the back of our heads who always wants to ruin things, who wonders what it would be like to destroy something irreplaceable or damage a friendship irrevocably.

Or maybe that's just my head? I sure hope not.

My God, my tourniquet
Return to me salvation
My God, my tourniquet
Return to me salvation

[Verse 3]
My wounds cry for the grave
My soul cries for deliverance
Will I be denied?
My suicide

"I know I'm dying, lord. My body is done for. But I'm still hurting inside. I was taught that you're a God of love. Please love me despite all this. I just want to be loved!"

And there is SO much meaning packed into the last four lines of the verse.
Meaning 1: "Will I be denied salvation? I'm dying, Jesus! Save me please!"
Meaning 2: "Will my pain be ignored once again? Or will Christ finally show me the love I crave by being the tourniquet that halts my suicide?"
Meaning 3: "Will I be denied Christ? Will I be denied a tourniquet? Will I be denied suicide? What will happen to me? I'm scared!"
The fact that it can mean all of these things at once and not distort the message of the song is very powerful to me.

The last minute of the song is a different instrumental piece, this time strings playing a somber passage that reminds me of a funeral mass. Obviously the singer has died.. but what of her soul? The music is not particularly bright nor dark, and so we must draw our own conclusions.

I favor the interpretation that, whatever your feelings are about suicide being a mortal sin, the fact that the singer displayed genuine remorse and repentance is sufficient to earn her forgiveness, salvation, and the peace and love she has been craving.

In short: the entire piece is a powerful musical rendition of "Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani", made all the more gun-wrenching because I've been where the singer is and I can identify with her pain and loss and need.

Friday, June 1, 2018

It has been a hell of a week, hasn't it?

Hi, folks.

When Erin wrote last week about how rough she'd been feeling lately, it really resonated with me. I hadn't realized it at the time, but writing has become a bit of a chore for me  as well.

I began working outside of my home late last year, which I hadn't done for nearly a decade prior. While I was working at home, when an idea came to me I could stop what I was doing and bang something out, or at least take down some notes, because the computer was right there in front of me and I was good enough at my job that I could take 20 minutes to write something without missing a beat in my day job. Now I've got to get up earlier, drive across town, be stuck somewhere for 9 hours, then drive back across town and wind down from work, and by that point it's difficult to get the old fingers moving.

Not only that, but working from home took its toll on me in other ways. My immune system is pretty worthless considering that I wasn't around sick people for so long, so I've had two or three sinus infections and a few upset stomachs from things going around. Like now. I have both, and I'm still working.

The job is good, though. I'm treated well, paid well, and have a level of work satisfaction I wasn't previously aware of, so there's that. But my personal time has become more valuable to me because there's now less of it, and being that I'm forced to be "on" for a full third of the day, pretending like socializing is easy and fun and not just something I'm good at but hate to do, that takes a toll as well.

I was feeling this before I started A Still Point In Time, which I openly admit is a silly bit of fan-fiction, but I've only got one chapter left, and I completely intend on turning it in soon. Expect a special guest star or two, as well as a relevant twist ending (a post-credits sequence if you will, given the subject matter). But I do feel like I owe Erin, and all of you, an apology for missing schedule here and there.

Also, she did say I'm not allowed to write anything else until Still Point is done, so I'll preemptively rap my knuckles with a ruler, if I can find one.

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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