Monday, November 27, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 276: Ghouls in Legacy Media


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • the linguistic sleight of hand that is the term "Gun Death";
    • the Washington Post's decision to run photos of dead bodies to push gun control.
  • Erin continues her interview with Annette Evans of On Her Own with some safety tips and product reviews;
  • and David talks about some gift ideas for the gun-lover in your household now that the holiday season is 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 mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

Show Notes

Main Topic:

Annette Evans:

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:


Sunday, November 26, 2023

"Mono no Aware"

 I don't like to talk about how I'm doing because 1) I don't want people to think I'm doing it for attention and 2) there's nothing any of you can do about it anyway. 

But someone asked how I was doing, so... here it is. I'm not fully in the red, but I'm a very dark orange.

I want to point out that these intrusive thoughts are nothing new. I've had them, if not all my life, then at least since puberty. It's just my brain chemistry and/or structure, I guess. Most of the time I'm able to ignore them, but as my emotional strength is worn down they become more disruptive. About half the time they're just cringey "Hey, remember that embarrassing incident from long ago? Yeah, let's make you feel that cringe all over again." The other half of the time they're casual bad things like "What if you told your friend 'Fuck you, I hate you'? How would they react? I bet they wouldn't be your friend any more." 

As for the suicidal thoughts, they're mainly just a dark version of intrusive thoughts and not actual desires or actions. It's like an evil spirit whispering in my ear "You know, if you just killed yourself, all this would be over" and I tell it to fuck off. I have no plans or desire to do so, but the imp of the perverse is ever-present. So to be clear, while I think about suicide a lot, I rarely think about committing suicide, if that makes any sense to you. It's my own private memento mori.

Weird philosophical aside which links into my main thesis at the end:

In Japanese art and culture there's a concept known as mono no aware (moe-no no ah-wa-ray) which basically means "being aware that all things eventually pass/die/fade away and being wistfully sad at the knowledge that life is just like this and there's nothing you can do to change it so you need to just accept it." It's kind of a cross between memento mori and Zen philosophy. It's why watching cherry blossoms fall from trees is a popular activity in Japan; they aren't just beautiful and dying, they're even more beautiful because they are dying. 

Anyway, ever since having to put my beloved Daisy to sleep back in August, I've been having these intense feelings of mono no aware every time I see a picture or a video of a cute animal. Please understand that I still enjoy looking at them and I don't want people to stop sending them to me; it's just that after I see these picture, I'm gripped by this intense feeling/realization of "that pet is going to die and it will devastate you."

When people die, it's usually on a timescale of "happening decades in the future" and that makes it more palatable to us, even though it doesn't make the loss any more painful. But it's the sudden, unexpected losses that hurt the most, because  that means someone was taken before their time and before their loved ones could prepare for that loss. For example, someone dying of old age in a nursing home, or from a protracted illness, is less shocking than someone taken by an accident or by violence. 

It's for this reason that I cannot fathom the pain felt by parents who lose a child.* I don't know how they manage to move past that pain, and I don't know if they ever do. If they don't, I surely don't begrudge them their grief, although I wish them surcease from their pain. 

Pets are different from people in this regard, though, because unless you are very old or the animal is very long lived, it's practically a certainty that the pet will die during your lifetime. And I don't know why Daisy was different -- I've had dogs before, and I've mourned their loss, but her death affected me more strongly than all the others did -- but she was different, was more special to me, and now every time I look at a pet I just get that powerful sense of "You are going to hurt so much  when your pet dies. Why are you doing this to yourself? Why open yourself up to guaranteed pain, again and again and again?" 

I look at people who post pictures of their pets regularly. I look at content creators who have made their pets the center of their lives on social media. I look at all this joy, and I can only think of the pain it will cause them. 

I know that there is an argument to be made for "the joy you have with them outweighs the grief their deaths cause". I know that giving animals a good life is a worthy thing to do. I know that by saving an animal's life, you often save your own. 

I just can't feel that anymore. All I see is a dagger aimed at my heart. I don't understand how other pet owners don't see that... or if they do, how they cope with it. 

It just seems like large portions of my life are colored by mono no aware, and I hate it. I wonder how much of this is grief, and how much of this is just me reaching the stage of life where people I know start dying and the knowledge that this will only increase with time. 
End of aside.  

So, yeah. I'm upset by my loss and the fuckery that is my life because the insurance company is still dragging its feet in paying to restore the master suite. It's gotten to the point where mom just decided she'd use dad's life insurance payout to make the thing livable and then hope that USAA will reimburse us for it. They don't care that this is where we live, where we need to feel safe and secure and in control; to them we're just numbers on a page and they don't want to pay out so they'll drag it out for as long as possible. Maybe they were hoping the house will be wiped out by a hurricane or that mom will die before they pay, and then they can cancel the contract or something. 

I fucking hate insurance. I hate the CONCEPT of insurance, because insurance is basically me saying "I bet I'm going to have an accident this month!" and the insurance company is saying "I bet you won't!" Why do people bet against themselves like that? You'd be better off if you put that money into a fund that you used to pay for emergencies. (Of course, I say this knowing full well that I lack the discipline to put money into savings like that and not touch it except for emergencies.)

Because of all the furniture from the master bedroom is piled up inside the house, we can't get to the Christmas decorations. I don't much care about this but mom is a huge Christmas fanatic and she's pretty devastated. "It looks like we won't have a Christmas this year," she said to me recently. It eats me up inside that she's unhappy. 

Because of this stress, I'm not sleeping well. This makes me tired, so I either take a nap in the afternoon or I drink coffee to try to get some energy, and both of those things push the time I get tired later and later, so I get to bed later, so I wake up feeling tired, so I take a nap or drink coffee, etc etc. 

I'm also overeating because I'm a stress eater. Having a full stomach sends a signal to my brain that at least I'm not going to starve to death today so that's one less thing to worry about, and of course I'm eating junk food because sugar is my drug of choice. 

I also can't seem to get motivated to do much of anything except watch TV or play video games because escapism is fun and easy whereas anything worthwhile is difficult and draining and I feel like life has already drained so much of me that I resent giving it more. 

I could say more but I'm tired of talking about this. You get the idea. It all stems from the fact that this year has been fucking awful for me and if things don't get better soon I will probably end up in the hospital. 

I don't know what I want to gain from talking about this. I don't specifically want sympathy (although it is appreciated), nor do I think anyone can give me advice on how to make things any better (although if you think you can I would love to hear it). I guess maybe I just needed to express my feelings in some way, to shape them with words and release them into the world, in a manner more coherent than "Life is pain, and then we die" or "Shit be fucked, yo."

* One of the few turns of phrase I'm really proud of is what I used when a friend had a miscarriage: "This slippery, spherical tragedy."

Maybe it only makes sense to me, but in my mind I envisioned trying to pick up a bowling ball with soapy hands: I just couldn't grasp it. That was the metaphor for me being unable to fully grasp the weight of that loss.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 275: Two Bad Shoots in Two Bad Places


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • Erin's experience at Ocala Pride;
    • Two bad shootings, one in Panama and the other in New York City, in response to bad behaviors;
    • and the "ATF Frames and Receiver Rule" has been deemed unconstitutional by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals!
  • Erin interviews Annette Evans about her project, On Her Own;
  • and David discusses the new Smith & Wesson Response Carbine.

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

Monday, November 13, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 274: Bumpstocks and Lightsabers


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • the Federal Bump Stock Ban going before SCOTUS;
    • Illinois' new Assault Weapons Ban and how it applies to... lightsabers?
  • Myles tells us what to do when a new shooter wants help buying a first gun;
  • and David talks about the different kinds of muzzle devices.

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

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Is This Kristallnacht 2.0?

Today is the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a violent night of vandalism, arson, looting, and assault upon Jewish people, their homes, their business, and their synagogues. The murders and arrests which followed The Night of Broken Glass were just the beginning of the persecution of European Jews in the 1930s and 40s, culminating in the concentration and extermination camps of the Nazis. 

The Jews were not alone in those camps. Jailed alongside them were minorities such as the Roma, Black people and their African-German mixed-race children, disabled people, and gay, lesbian, and transgender people. This was the origin of the pink triangle being used to denote queer people, a symbol which we have claimed as our own in a show of strength, but we have never forgotten its roots.

85 years later, it seems as though we are on the precipice of a second Kristallnacht. Antisemitic sentiment is at an all-time high, with demonstrations across the globe calling for the destruction of the Jews. Homes are being marked with blue stars to indicate the presence of Jews within them. Jews have even been chased by mobs and forced to hide in attics to escape violence, and those who have been unable to escape have be assaulted, injured, and even killed. At least one synagogue has been firebombed. 

Operation Blazing Sword was founded in 2016 to teach a marginalized minority how to protect themselves against violent bigots. Reaching out to threatened people, telling them that they aren't alone, and teaching them about armed self-defense is our only reason for existence. After the Pulse Massacre we focused our efforts on teaching the basics of firearm safety, operation, and ownership to queer people. At the same time we also welcomed without judgment, and taught without cost, anyone who wanted to learn about firearms, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, biology, manner of dress, or even faith. 

Today, Operation Blazing Sword is once again reaching out to another marginalized, victimized minority by making it clear that we stand with the Jewish people against violent antisemitism in exactly the same way that we stand with queer people against violent homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, and that our resources are available for their use. We want Jews everywhere to know that if they see this symbol, then they are safe with us. Our ancestors were together in the camps, and today their descendants stand together to say "No More!"

This symbol is not a political statement, and Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols has no position on foreign affairs. Our focus is, has always been, and will continue to be educating the gun curious in the United States about responsible, armed self-defense. Compassion for human life and the protection of innocents guide us, and the only politics we care about is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. 

We anticipate pushback on this matter. To that end, here are answers to some expected objections:

This is not Islamophobia. We have publicly stated in the past that we teach all faiths, and this continues to be true. While today is a significant anniversary in the history of persecution of Jews and the focus of this statement, Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols recognizes that persecution of Muslims also occurs, and we will gladly teach them in exactly the same manner as we teach all of our other students. 

This is not taking political sides. Jews in America are not Israel, and violence against them is not valid political protest but rather violent bigotry against innocent people who have nothing to do with the situation in the Middle East. All innocent  lives deserve protection, regardless of their race, religion, or any other factor. 

This is not co-opting Holocaust symbology. These accusations are usually aimed at people who try to adapt the yellow Star of David to advance a separate agenda. Tonight, however, Jews are being persecuted simply for being Jews, which is exactly what the Holocaust was. If it is the same people in the same danger for the same reason, then it's not co-opting but instead an alert that this is happening again. 

This is not being done for profit. We are not selling anything. Furthermore, we are a registered non-profit and a 501c3 charity. We seek only to teach and to help. 

Operation Blazing Sword - Pink Pistols remembers the origin of the pink triangle and the yellow star. We stand with those who refuse to be victims, because without the ability to apply affective defensive force, "Never Again!" and "No More!" are only catchy slogans. We teach all races, all faiths, all sexes, all genders, and all sexualities how to shoot, and then we tell the world that we have done so. 

Monday, November 6, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 273: Tales From Two Cities


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d have interviews rather than main topics!
    • Weer'd sits down with Ryan Michad of Handgun Radio to discuss the mass shooting that happened in Lewiston, Maine;
    • and Erin gets together with Lara Smith and Mark Oknyansky of the Liberal Gun Club to tell an amazing story of a new shooter in Las Vegas!

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

Monday, October 30, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 272: Obstinate Ignorance


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss another busy week in Second Amendment news:
    • Larry Vickers pleading guilty to serious weapons charges, including violations of weapons sanctions;
    • Judge Benitez again ruling in favor of the 2nd Amendment, this time about  California's assault weapons ban;
    • the head of a New York Gun Violence Prevention group arrested on gun and drug charges;
    • Canada's "assault weapon amnesty" is being extended until after the 2025 election;
    • Alec Baldwin will be charged for homicide, again;
    • and a fatal shooting in Brussels shows the futility of gun prohibition.
  • Finally, David discusses defense, both in Israel and at home.

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:

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

Sunday, October 29, 2023

My Speech to the Liberal Gun Club 2023

I don't think I mentioned it here, but two weeks ago I was invited to speak at the Liberal Gun Club's annual meeting in Las Vegas. 

It was supposed to have been professionally recorded, except that there was a problem with the computer, so it was recorded on a cellphone at the last minute. This explains why the quality isn't great and the view is wobbly.

Also, other than my improving crowd work skills there's hardly anything new here. Whenever I'm asked to speak, it's nearly always to do my Greatest Hits. While I don't mind doing "The Best of Erin Palette" it always makes me die a little inside, because I'm all "I've been doing this for seven years, and you still haven't heard of who I am and what I do?"

So anyway, here's Wonderwall my set. 

What's unfortunate is that because of the aforementioned technical issued, they didn't record the amazing introduction that Lara Smith gave me. How amazing was it? She gave me a compliment so huge that my brain just kind of staticked out because I couldn't process it, in a "There's no way I deserve that kind of praise" sense. 

It's also unfortunate that my crowd work at the beginning and at the end didn't get recorded. It was only after I had been introduced that the AV person discovered the problem, so in order to give him some time as well as some input to work with I did some, well, not really jokes, but some witty remarks like "Hello, I'm the warmup act for Annette Evans" (she was the keynote speaker) and "Usually when I'm asked to speak, it's either to conservatives who aren't comfortable with queer people, or to liberals who aren't comfortable with guns. You folks are both pro-gun and pro-queer, so why am I even here again?"

Then when I finished, I was asked to stick around so that AV could try to get the sound working again. I stayed and said something like "I am a gigantic canned ham so I'm happy to talk as long as you like. So, who has questions?"

I don't think I could be a proper comedian, but I think I'm a pretty good storyteller and I could easily see myself doing a "spoken word" tour like Henry Rollins does. 

If you are an organization and would like for me to speak at an event, please cover my travel expenses and I will be happy to do so. Yes, even if it's to do my Greatest Hits again. 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 271: What Were They Thinking?


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss a busy week in the news:
    • The Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the ATF when it comes to "ghost guns";
    • The FBI Director doesn't acknowledge that the Second Amendment exists;
    • A New York City Councilwoman is arrested for carrying a gun at a protest;
    • NYC's gun laws didn't stop a teenage fare-dodger from carrying a gun onto the subway;
    • The Albuquergue gun store which confiscated a customer's legal Polymer80 pistol has been raided by the BATFE for illegal gun sales;
    • Pro-gun states have "troubling" habits in an alleged study;
    • New York is calling for background checks with 3D printers, because of guns;
    • and Massachusetts tries once again to pass its "Lawful Citizens Imprisonment Act".
  • Finally, David talks about range ammunition vs target ammunition, and which one you shouldn't reload.

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:

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

Monday, October 16, 2023

Justice and Mercy

My thoughts on the events of the past week:
  • It is possible to condemn the barbaric actions of Hamas as evil without saying that all Palestinians are evil. 
  • It is equally possible to say that Israel's actions to combat such monstrosity are necessary without endorsing all of the Israeli government's actions in the past, present, or future.
  • Humans are flawed creatures, and the institutions they create are equally flawed. Neither side is wholly innocent nor wholly at fault. 
I do not think this is a controversial statement, because I have frequently spoken against the actions, both at home and overseas, of my own government. It is possible to dislike a government without disliking the people it represents; if that were not so, then I would have to dislike my fellow Americans because they are Americans, and I do not. 

What I do is grieve for the innocent lives lost on both sides, and fervently hope that actions taken now will prevent the loss of further innocent lives on both sides in the future. Quoting from the season 3 episode Dust to Dust of the science fiction masterpiece Babylon 5:

G'Kar: "The Centauri started it."

G'Lan: "And will you continue until there are no more Narns and no more Centauri? If both sides are dead, no one will care which side deserves the blame. It no longer matters who started it, G'Kar. It only matters who is suffering."

Like G'Lan, I only care about who is suffering. Unfortunately, an early peace which doesn't prevent future horror is no peace at all. I want an equitable peace which preserves as many innocent lives, present and future, as possible. I pray that the guilty are brought to justice and that those harmed by the actions of the guilty are made as whole as is possible. 

I also know that neither of these prayers will be answered with 100% satisfaction, because  we live in a fallen world where the guilty often escape punishment while the innocent suffer without restitution. To quote another great writer, Sir Terry Pratchett, in his novel Hogfather:

Death: "Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape."

Susan: "With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?"

Death: "Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies."

Susan: "So we can believe the big ones?"

Death: "Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing."

Susan: "They're not the same at all!"

Death: "You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through the finest sieve and THEN show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet... you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some... some rightness in the universe by which it may be judged."

Susan: "But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?"

Death: "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"

We -- all humans, everywhere -- must struggle to make justice and mercy become real in order to end suffering. 

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 270: Barbarians at the Gate


In This Episode

Weer'd is on vacation this week but the events of the weekend are too important to let pass, so Erin assembled a hasty Roundtable with David, Oddball, and Connie to discuss the importance of self-defense in Israel along with other Second Amendment news:

  • Gun Control in Israel and the complicated process to get a permit to own a firearm;
  • Stories of heroes who saved lives during the Hamas attacks;
  • Knife laws are being successfully challenged with Second Amendment tactics;
  • More news about Rare Breed's Forced Reset Triggers and the CA Magazine Ban;
  • and the Avidity Arms PD10 is finally available for purchase.

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

Monday, October 9, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 269: Always Be Prepared


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • the passing of Dianne Feinstein and her controversial replacement;
    • a YouTube "prankster" was shot, and the shooter was (sort of) acquitted ;
    • California's magazine ban was ruled unconstitutional, again, but the Ninth Circus is up to its usual tricks;
  • Myles talks about Every Day Carry;
  • and Weer'd brings us a fisk of Michael Bloomberg's new gun prohibitionist YouTube hit piece, America's Biggest Public Health Crisis May Be 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:

South Paw Corner:

Weer’d Audio Fisk:

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Mom Update

This is a follow-up to Sunday's post

Mom had her cardiologist appointment yesterday, and she asked me to go with her into the exam room, which I was happy to do. I really like her cardiologist; he's pleasant, knowledgeable, seems to enjoy answering questions, and actively solicits patient feedback, all of which seem to be a rarity in medicine these days. 

Doc Cardio thinks mom is doing okay, especially for an 84 year old who had a STEMI, a catheterization, and a stent put into one of her heart arteries a week ago. (Based on the angiogram I saw, and my hazy recollection that the artery was a three-letter acronym that sounded like something non-medical, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was her Right Coronary Artery. I bring this up because a nurse friend asked me for specifics.) He also thinks that her blood pressure is still too high, which is no surprise as we've both been eating a steady diet of stress since February. No one has said anything about further procedures except "We don't think you need one," which is great news. The 50% blockage will just be monitored and treated proactively with medication and diet to reduce her BP and cholesterol, and she'll stay on blood thinners (likely for life) to prevent her stent from being obstructed by a clot. 

When I asked him how this blockage was missed, he explained what likely happened was that a random blood clot essentially "ran aground" on normal (say, 30%) aterial blockage and made like the Ever Given in the Suez Canal. Just to be sure, though, she has a low-level stress test scheduled for next week, and there are any other nasty surprises hiding in her arteries that will hopefully find them. 

Monday, October 2, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 268: Kneel Before Dodd


In This Episode

Erin had a rough day and called for backup, so she is joined by Weer'd, David and Oddball in a hybrid episode where we all discuss:

  • Hunter Biden's indictment and its implications for the Second Amendment;
  • Firearm prohibitionist Senator Robert Menendez's indictment on bribery charges and ties to illegal arms deals;
  • Whether or not the gun violence problem of 2022 was really as bad as it was reported;
  • CCW holders in California have committed almost zero crime;
  • The court rulings in favor of the Second Amendment in California's magazine ban and New Jersey's extreme requirements for concealed carry;
  • and President Biden's creation of an "Office of Gun Violence Prevention" filled with gun prohibition lobbyists.
  • Next, David's segment is a report on the New York Background Check System as well as some surrounding laws;
  • and finally, Heinrich from Geeks Gadgets and Guns gives us a primer on chronographs.

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:

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

Heinrich’s Segment:

Sunday, October 1, 2023

That Was the Week That Was

Any time you start a conversation with "So first of all, [person] is is okay," you know the story is going to be interesting...

So first of all, mom is is okay. She's home now, and everything seems to be fine in the short term. That said, here's how my week has been. 

Early Monday morning -- around 8 am, I think -- mom was out in the yard doing yard work and pruning hedges. She'd been working maybe 15 minutes when she felt a terrible pain in her chest, like something very heavy was crushing her. She sat down for a few minutes to see if the pain let up.  It didn't, and she was getting light headed, so she knew she had to get inside. Fortunately it was only 10 feet or so to the door, so she made it in, but she couldn't make it to the phone and had to lie down just inside the front door. After lying there a few minutes, she involuntarily soiled herself with urine and feces (I'm not saying this to be crass, it's relevant to the story later) due to the pain. If she wasn't going to call 911 before that, it certainly changed her mind. 

HOWEVER, my mother is a Proper Southern Lady, and it Just Wouldn't Do for the EMTs to see her in such a state, and besides, she didn't want to be a burden to them by smelling of feces and being soiled, so she went to the bathroom, cleaned herself up and changed her clothes, and then called 911. Then she waited outside for them so that our dog, Precious, wouldn't attack them in an attempt to protect mom/ward off the intruders. 

Now you may well be wondering "Where was Erin during all of this? Why didn't she help?" Well, that's an excellent and fair question. The answer is "She didn't want to bother me while I was sleeping, for exactly the same reason that she didn't want the EMTs to deal with her being soiled."

Yes. I facepalmed at that, too. 

So when I got up Monday morning at my usual time (about 10 am), I noticed a Post-It note on the bathroom door with the terse message "GONE TO ER" on it. I checked to see if her car was still here, and it was, so that told me she'd gone via ambulance and that meant it was serious. 

Now, one of the things you need to know about me is that it takes my brain time to wake up. I can do basic "move around" things, but actually thinking, especially making decisions, is something that takes at least 30 minutes and at least one cup of coffee. So as I drank my coffee -- because what else was I going to do? She'd taken an ambulance, she was in good hands, there was nothing I could do at that moment anyway so I might as well get my brain online -- I pondered what to do next. 

I contemplated calling the ER, but I didn't know when she'd left. It might have been 5 minutes before I'd woken up, and she might not have arrived yet. I could have jumped into the car and driven there, but sure as I'd done that she or the ER would call the house and I wouldn't be there to answer the phone. I'd come to the decision that I'd wait to hear more, either from mom or the hospital, when my cell phone rang. It was someone from the ER who told me that my mother was in "the cath lab" and would be admitted to the ICU after the procedure was done. 

My decision made, I got dressed and was almost out the door when the phone rang again, and this time it was an ICU nurse telling me that mom's procedure was successful and telling me her room number. It was at this time that I finally had the presence of mind to ask just what the hell was going on. I was told that mom suffered what's called a STEMI, which stands for ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction. I'll let you look up what "ST Elevation" means, but "Myocardial Infarction" is fancy doctor-speak for what you and I would call a heart attack. 

Apparently mom had 99% blockage in some very important artery whose name I can't recall but I think had a three-letter acronym, and a 50% blockage in another. They put a stent into the 99% blocked artery in "the cath lab" and the procedure went well, and she was recovering in the ICU. I went to see her and she looked beat up but about as good as someone in Intensive Care recovering from a heart attack and an operation could look. She was sore, but coherent and in generally good spirits, so I kept her company and asked the nurses lots of questions and contacted my sister so she could call mom. Later in the week I sneaked mom a Sausalito cookie from Pepperidge Farms -- for "morale purposes", you understand, because she was on a low-everything diet and hospital food isn't very good -- and she came home on Wednesday. 

So like I said, she's fine now. Despite her little stunt of not calling 911 until after she'd cleaned herself up -- oh, and we had A TALK ABOUT THAT, let me tell you! I told her the next time something like this happens, she is to call 911 before she does anything else because she could have collapsed in the bathroom and died! And she is to WAKE ME UP! -- despite all this, she seems to have gotten to the ER within the "golden hour" and is recovering well. She has a follow-up appointment with her cardiologist on Monday and we will discuss how this happened, because the last time she'd seen the cardio was earlier in the year and none of this was detected. 

The pet theory we have is that this has been caused by all the stress we've been under this year. For those folks who haven't been keeping track, and I confess I haven't written about a lot of it on this blog, but here's the highlights:
  • Water leak in master suite which caused damage and mold
  • Furniture was removed from master suite, all carpets and a lot of drywall removed
  • That was in February, it's now October and our insurance company STILL won't pay to make those rooms livable, and we're tripping over the furniture that was moved out
  • My father died in June, the day before my mom's birthday
  • We had to put our other dog Daisy to sleep because her congestive heart failure got to the point where she was struggling to breathe and couldn't sleep
  • All sorts of minor crap involving bills and funeral arrangements and the assorted aches and pains of getting older
So yeah, if mom's heart attack is partly the result of our insurance playing fuck-fuck games with us for 9 months, I'm gonna get a lawyer and sue the ever-loving SHIT out of them. 

That was my week, and I'm only now recovered enough to recount it. I swear to God, this year is the worst I've had this century, and if things don't let up soon I will likely end up in the hospital, the jail or the morgue. 

Before you ask if you can help: you can't, unless you have a magic wand or a million dollars or a Florida-licensed lawyer who's willing to work either pro bono or for a chunk of the settlement. 

Now I'm gonna post Monday's podcast episode on social media because all that went out the window when I went to the ICU and I'm only now getting back on schedule. I missed the Patreon deadline for it for September, but oh well. 

And goodnight, America, wherever you are...

Monday, September 25, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 267: 'Tis a Silly Place


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • New Mexico's Attorney General refusing to defend the Governor from lawsuits over her suspension of the Second Amendment;
    • Former Kimber sales executive, and current Giffords employee, Ryan Busse who now claims he is pro-gun as he makes a run for Governor of Montana.
  • Xander gives us more of his independent thoughts on Right to Repair;
  • Now that David has told us how suppressors work, he tells you need to do to buy one;
  • and Weer'd sits down with Wes from The Mind Killer Podcast to talk about tips for a happy marriage.

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 with Xander Opal:

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

Wes Interview:

Friday, September 22, 2023

Sacred Cow Shipyards

Operation Blazing Sword sponsored this episode of Sacred Cow Shipyards, and we received a very nice shout-out and referral at the beginning of the video.

I wasn't able to get in on the CIWS video in time to sponsor it, but missiles & torpedoes are just different kinds of chemically propelled projectiles, so it's close enough for my purposes. 

Anyway, go check out SCS's channel if you haven't already done so. 

Monday, September 18, 2023

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 266: In Lieu of Hogg we have Gov. Grisham


In This Episode

Join Erin, Weer'd, David, and Oddball as they dive into the news of the week in an ACP Round Table:

  • Liberty Safe supplying access codes to the FBI, and what you can do if you own one;
  • the Governor of New Mexico suspending the Second Amendment in Albuquerque, and the people who have turned against her may surprise you;
  • a New Mexico gun shop stealing a patron's firearm;
  • the FBI, as it turns out, has been massively under-reporting the number of spree killers stopped by armed private citizens;
  • and SIG Sauer's statement that holsters made to accommodate mounted flashlights might be why P320 pistols are discharging while holstered.

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

The Fine Print

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

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to