Tuesday, August 30, 2022

That Was the Week That Was

Well, last week pretty much destroyed my attempt to write more often. I won't get into specifics because I don't want to be one of those bloggers who uses their platform for whining, but let me hit the highlights for you:

Apparently there's at least one, and perhaps more, people on the LTUE convention committee who have a problem with me. This likely stems from earlier in the year, when I pointed out that their last-minute Covid policies were transphobic

The one whose name I know is a Track Lead, and apparently this person finds me so troubling that they decided they would rather not do their job than deal with me. I just can't tell you how special that makes me feel. 

I was also upset that I had been excluded from speaking at the Second Amendment Foundation's Gun Rights Policy Conference, but it appears they're just running behind schedule and this afternoon I received my invitation to speak. I'm relieved to hear this, because last year I blew the deadline for making a video for the virtual conference due to family drama just sucking all the energy out of me, and I was worried I'd accidentally burned a professional relationship which I cherish. 

Speaking of family drama, there's less of it these days but it's still around. I'm not going to talk about it; suffice it to say that my family knows how to push my buttons, likely because they programmed those buttons in the first place. 

My beloved dog Daisy (who I haven't talked about here) has been diagnosed with a Stage 5 heart murmur and congestive heart failure, so I am acutely aware of the sand running out of her particular hourglass. She's been such a ray of sunshine for me that her death is going to absolutely wreck me. She still has a good quality of life at the moment, thank goodness, and she remains a happy pupper. But she's getting's worse. 

Daisy, fresh from the doggie salon last Christmas

Two very good and very close friends of mine nuked their friendship with each other. I'm furious with both of them, not only because I expected better of them, but also because I got dragged into this drama when it was none of my business. This meant I was caught in the splash zone and became collateral damage. Maybe in any other week I could have handled this, but not last week. 

So take all of that, and add to it the constant bitching and politicking and micro-drama that happens on Facebook, and it all became toxic for me. I'm taking a break from Facebook right now -- I disabled my account, so if you noticed I wasn't there it wasn't because I blocked you -- and while I will probably be back eventually, it's not going to be soon. 

I was startled to realize just how many times a day I would click on Facebook, often without being aware I was doing it. That sounds like addiction, folks, or at the very least a bad habit, and it explains why I was having trouble getting things done. I'm not going to claim that "I quit Facebook and suddenly I'm a hundred times more productive"; that's so simplistic as to be ridiculous. However, this does explain where a lot of my time was disappearing and why I felt I could never get anything done. My plan is to break the habit and develop better time management skills, and then return to Facebook in a much more limited capacity. Perhaps I'll only use it to post links to here, the Assorted Calibers Podcast, and Blue Collar Prepping

That's all for now, I think, so I'll finish with the closing lines of one of my favorite TV shows, Midnight Caller, which managed the impressive feat of eliciting a hardboiled 1940s Dashiell Hammett vibe while at the same time being so very 1980s.

Goodnight, America... wherever you are.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 213: Weer'd Isn't Here


In This Episode

Weer'd Beard is on vacation, so it's time for another ACP Round Table! Erin is joined by Oddball and David, where they discuss:

  • Ryan Busse agitating against the First Amendment;
  • the Montenegro mass shooting that killed 10 and injured 6;
  • and ridiculous new gun laws, and some challenges to same, in California, New York, and Massachusetts.

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 mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Sunday, August 21, 2022

A Blast from the Past

I'm trying to get back into the groove of writing regularly, but I find myself struggling to post even three times a week. (Yes, I'm counting posts made at Blue Collar Prepping). But even though it's late I have something for #3, because I'm one of those nutjobs who believes the week begins on Monday and not Sunday. 

Last week a friend shared this video with me because he knew I grew up in Cold War Europe and it reminded him of some of the stories I've told about that time. It immediately gave me major childhood flashbacks. Not traumatic flashbacks, mind you; just very intense nostalgia. 

This video is about a 1984 NATO exercise called Lionheart, the UK's largest mobilization since World War 2. I returned to America from Europe in 1984 so this is all intimately familiar to me, and in many ways this is how I still imagine Europe looks (even though I know it doesn't). 


You know how in farm communities you can get stuck behind a tractor slooooowly going along the road? In Germany in the 1980s, that would happen... except with tanks. I mean no-shit MBTs doing 40 mph on the surface streets. Let me tell you, it is freaking weird seeing street legal M-1 Abrams tanks with turn signals and license plates and all that. 

So, yeah, seeing that video made me want to break out my GI Joe toys, and I went on a total cruise down memory lane. In that vein, here are some tidbits of Cold War Army culture that most of you likely didn't know:

1) Theaters on US bases would always, Always, ALWAYS play the national anthem before a movie, and you would have to stand to attention if you were in the service or you could face disciplinary action. Non-service family members didn't have to, but they were, ahem, strongly encouraged to do so unless they had a very good reason, such as being nursing mothers. From the ages of 6-10 I would always stand up for it, and the reason I stopped at 10 is because we moved back to the States where we patronized civilian theaters instead. 

2) Similarly, at dawn and dusk the base PA speakers would play Reveille and Retreat, respectively, and if you were on foot you'd need to stop what you were doing and stand at attention in the general direction of the base flag, saluting if you were in the service and standing at attention (with my hand over my heart, I think?) if not. Kids would literally stop playing on the playground and stand at attention, it was that ingrained, and those who didn't were looked down upon as being crude and low class by the rest of us. 

3) AFN, the Armed/American Forces Network.  The usual TV networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) couldn't reach Europe, and Americans wanted to watch American programming, so the military got rebroadcast rights for a lot of programs and showed them anywhere from 6 to 12 months after they premiered in the states. But because AFN was just one station, it couldn't broadcast everything. If AFN didn't get the show, you just didn't watch it. 

Also, there were no commercials, because the military is the government and FedGov doesn't need corporate sponsorship. This meant that hour-long programs would run only 45-50 minutes, so they filled the gaps with...

OK, have you seen videos on YouTube about military equipment with that cheesy and distinctive 80's synth music? They were like that, and they felt like they were half propaganda, half "Dear Pentagon, please fund this project".

Do you remember Airwolf? Those videos looked more or less like that, except without the credits and the handsome actors/pretty actresses. 


So that was my 1980s flashback. I hope you found it informative, or at least entertaining. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 212: The Round Table Discusses Court Cases


In This Episode

It's another ACP Round Table! Erin and Weer'd are joined by Oddball and David, where they discuss:
  • Several 2A cases sent back to the circuit courts by SCOTUS after the NYSRPA v. Bruen ruling;
  • A North Carolina county that is putting AR-15s in schools;
  • very tone-deaf politician in Texas;
  • and the very odd case of why they don't accept 3D Printed Guns at buybacks in Houston anymore.

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 mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 211: AWB 2.0?


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • California backing down on enforcement of banned magazines, and Colorado courts issuing a restraining order on enforcement of a local Assault Weapons Ban;
    • Michael Bloomberg's The Trace has a weekly Newsletter that paints a grim picture for anti-gunners;
    • and The Washington Post lamenting the NYSRPA v. Bruen decision with an interview of Anti-Gun Darling Ryan Busse.
  • Next, Weer'd fisks the House of Representatives as they question Gun Company Executives, then he and Erin analyze the just-passed Assault Weapons Ban;
  • and finally, David talks about what happens when you put the wrong caliber of  ammunition into  a gun -- and it fits.

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 mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic:

Weer'd Audio Fisk:

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

Monday, August 1, 2022

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 210: The Good, The Bad, and the Stupid


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss --
    • The Good: there are new details about Eli Dicken and his defensive shooting at the Greenwood Park Mall;
    • The Bad: the House Assault Weapons bills made it through committee, so here's what we think will happen next;
    • The Stupid: California has passed a new gun control law that seems to violate the PLCAA and the First Amendment as well as the Second.
  • Next, Xander brings us his independent thoughts on when to take a shot and when not;
  • and finally, Weer'd fisks Joe Biden's blathering about "Ghost Guns".

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 mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic:

Independent Thoughts:

Weer’d Audio Fisk:

The Fine Print

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

Creative Commons License

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